"The Influence of
ethnicity on the Labor Market opportunities.
A test case of accepting multicultural diversity in
Interim Activity Report
Present interim report covers activities relating to the research undertaking between March and August 2003 and the main preliminary findings.
A. Re-evaluation of and amendments to the initial project proposal. Theoretical Aspects
During March-April the initial project proposal have been re-evaluated. The discussions with the group mentors and the reading materials of the first IPF seminar led me to the critical re-appraisal of the scope and the purpose of my policy research. During the subsequent work on the project the minor modifications have been made as well.
The major changes to the initial project proposal have been the following:
1. The research area of the project has become more defined and narrow in scope i.e. Labor Market discrimination.
The initial project proposal included the proposal to evaluate the following issues
- language policy formation
- representation of minorities in the state institutions and political organs of the state
- implementing agencies
- possibility of minority groups on an equal footing to participate in the process of developing and evaluating plans and strategies addressing their needs
- role of the international organizations and donors
- impact of the language policy in the situation on the labor market
Although the above mentioned issues of the great importance they will be outside the direct investigation of the present research paper.
The revised project proposal limited itself to the detailed discussion of the following issues:
· Analysis of the Estonian employment and anti-discrimination policy in the light of the European Employment Strategy and Social Policy Agenda ((EU instruments) as specifically related to the protection of ethnic minorities on the labour market.
· The situation on the labor market from ethnical point of view (statistical data) as relates to the access to employment, occupational representation and remuneration.
· The analysis of the possible causes of the statistical differences (language and citizenship policies) and the lack of interest on the side of the state to address the issue through the state policies.
Thus, the situation of the ethnic minorities is
approached 1) trough the obligations of the state as relates to the membership
in the European Union (European Employment Strategy) and the
anti-discrimination policy (Race Directive) and 2) through discussing the
consequences to the development of
At the same time the revised
approach became more broad in defining the basis of discrimination. The underlining cause of discrimination
language policy (as initially have been thought) has been expanded to the
concept of ethnicity. In
addressing the situation of ethnic minorities in
B. Re-evaluation of and amendments to the initial project proposal.
As have been stated above the significant consideration that the present research had to address was the approach to the issue of ethnic minorities on the labour market. It is why a considerable amount of time and attention have been devoted to the library and Internet research.
In more details activities included the following:
- Re-evaluation of the project proposal
- meeting with the local mentors
- developing of the web-page
2. Collection of materials on the European studies on labor discrimination of immigrants and minorities.
Review of legal acts of
4. Review of decisions of the courts on discrimination
Review of studies on the
labor market in
6. Continuous meetings with the group mentors
7. Meetings with representatives of local municipalities from Ida-Virumaa Region, NGOs and state officials working in the Ministry of Social Affairs.
1. Second IPF Seminar.
2. Participation in the conference organized by the European Commission “Civil Dialog and Social Policy in an Enlarged European Union”. During the Conference I have met representatives of the EC Directorate-General on Employment and Social Affairs as well as representatives of the leading NGOs in EU and accessing countries working on the issues related to the discrimination of minority groups on the labor market.
3. Review of the collected literature
4. Meeting with the former Minister of Education and present Member of the Parliament (on the language issues).
5. Meetings with the representatives of the minority organizations and minority academia.
6. Developing of the Questioners (as have been envisaged in the initial project proposal) to be send In October, 2003.
7. Developing of the Initial Research Paper.
It should be noted, that initially planned
- The National Action Program on Employment does not address the issue of ethnic minorities on the labour market although it is encouraged by the European Employment Strategy which is a part of the common EU acquie communitaire
- At the same time the statistical differences among ethnic groups exists in particular in unemployment rate, the remuneration level and the sectoral distribution of work
- The citizenship and language policies providing a discretionary wide scope for the interpretation. This gives a possibility to the employer to express the discriminatory preferences that are not based on objectives factors.
The challenge of
discrimination on national level is extremely difficult. There is no definition of discrimination in
legal acts and there is no anti-discrimination policy in
- There is a lack of academic research on the topic of discrimination relating to the access to employment, work related promotion and dismissal from work.
- There are very few studies that look at some aspect of the labor market from the ethnic perspective (differences in wage) and more economical analysis should be undertaken;
- All of the above is coupled with the lack 1) of interest on the side of the government to recognize that problem of differential treatment of ethnic minorities exists (explicitly reflected in the statistical differences between the ethic groups) and of initiative to conduct any further research or evaluations on the topic.