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Introduction

The information contained on this page represents the situation as of 1 January 2013 and is a summary of the country report produced by the country expert from the network. The summary can be downloaded here as well.

The information contained on this page has been produced by the country expert from the network.

Contact: 
Lorenzo Cachón Rodríguez
E-mail: lcachon@terra.es

Country context

There have been great social and political changes in Spain in the last 35 years. Major transformations have taken place in the country’s social structure, forming a much more diverse society in ethnic and religious terms. One of the greatest changes has been Spain’s transformation into a country of immigration.

Main principles and definitions

The Spanish Constitution states that Spaniards are equal before the law and may not in any way be discriminated against on account of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion or any other condition or personal or social circumstance (Article 14).

Enforcing the law

The Spanish Constitution provides that all fundamental rights are protected by the ordinary courts of law. Moreover, appeals for protection in respect of such rights may be lodged at the Constitutional Court (CC) once ordinary proceedings have been exhausted.

Main legislation

Equality is one of the higher values of the legal system established by the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

The most notable international instruments combating discrimination have been ratified during Spain’s democratic period since 1976.

Material scope

The material scope of the prohibition of discrimination is of a general nature. All the fields mentioned by Directives 2000/43 and 2000/78 are covered by the general principle of equality laid down in Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution. Besides gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age, and sexual orientation, other grounds are expressly mentioned in Spanish laws: marital status; origin; social condition; political ideas; ideology; affiliation to a union; language within the State of Spain; and family ties with other workers in the enterprise.

Equality bodies

Law 62/2003 establishes a Council for the promotion of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin. Royal Decree 1262/2007 (modified by Royal Decree 1044/2009) regulates the composition, competences and regulations for the council. The council has the following characteristics: it is attached to the Ministry of Equality; it is a collegiate Spanish governmental body; and its functions include the three functions described in Article 13.2 of the directive (providing independent assistance to victims, conducting independent surveys and publishing independent reports).

Go to the European Commission - Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities This initiative is financed by the EC Programme Progress. But the views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.