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The Role of Labour Standards in DevelopmentFrom theory to sustainable practice?$
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Tonia Novitz and David Mangan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264911

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264911.001.0001

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Promoting equality through social inclusion*

Promoting equality through social inclusion*

Case studies from the European social charter

(p.76) 5 Promoting equality through social inclusion*
The Role of Labour Standards in Development

Mark Bell

British Academy

This chapter explores how equality is pursued, comparing two approaches. In Europe, legal responses to inequality have tended to focus on anti-discrimination legislation. This approach attempts to bring about equality by giving individuals a right to challenge discrimination through litigation before courts or other adjudicatory bodies. In contrast, the promotion of social inclusion has been more typically linked with policy-based mechanisms, not amenable to judicial enforcement. A dichotomy thus arises between two pathways for advancing equality: antidiscrimination and social inclusion. The chapter begins by reviewing in more detail the characteristics, strengths, and pitfalls of each of these two approaches. It then seeks to explore whether these approaches might be brought together and, to this end, it examines the European Social Charter, which appears to marry some of the qualities of both approaches. It is an instrument of international law, yet it has a holistic outlook on social rights and their implementation in practice. In order to make a more concrete assessment of the Charter's potential to promote equality, two discrete case studies are considered, focusing on the social situation of Travellers in Ireland and Roma in Italy.

Keywords:   inequality, anti-discrimination legislation, social inclusion, European Social Charter, social rights

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