Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Launching of the first two volumes of "Legislating for Equality"

During its annual celebration of the International Human Rights Day, Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry unveiled its latest contribution to fighting racism around the world – two of four volumes collating laws against discrimination and racial vilification. The first of its kind, Legislating for Equality – a Multinational Collection of Non-Discrimination Norms, is the work of five Kantor Center researchers and two students from TAU’s Buchmann Faculty of Law. The volumes were presented to Israel’s Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni with two Israel Supreme Court Justices in attendance – Daphne Barak-Erez, former Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law, and Elyakim Rubinstein. 

Prof. Dina Porat, head of the Kantor Center and Chief Historian at Yad Vashem, noted that Legislating for Equality will “serve as a useful tool for human rights activists, diplomats and researchers by providing an up-to-date picture of the legal status of anti-discrimination law in every country.” Porat, who co-edited the volumes along with the project coordinator, Talia Naamat, and Nina Osin, both lawyers, stressed that while the collection reveals positive and serious constitutional developments in some countries, it also exposes worrying trends in others in the fight against discrimination.

By examining reports, databases, interviews and other material from various sources including governmental authorities, embassies and research centers, the scholars produced a comprehensive snapshot of relevant laws in both Europe and the Americas. The Kantor Center aims to publish the third volume on Africa in 2014 and a final volume on Asia and Oceania in 2015, and the latter will include a chapter focusing on Israel’s legal framework for dealing with discrimination.

Ms. Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director General, sent a written address especially for the occasion. It can be read by pressing its link.

The event and the publication received a coverage by the journalist Ofer Aderet, in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in its Hebrew and English edition. His reports can be seen in pdf format, by pressing the respective links.

The full session can be seen by clicking the following links: (They will open in a new window).

Part 1 - Opening greetings: Dina Porat, Yosef Klafter, Arieh Zuckerman. http://youtu.be/GdTF-Zw_cWk

Part 2 - Talia Naamat. http://youtu.be/P2G5dcv3tc4

Part 3 - Daphne Barak-Erez. http://youtu.be/fiueaOZUSIc

Part 4 - Written salutations and final remarks. http://youtu.be/C0SV_NnKYcg