The City of Reykjavík’s Human Rights Policy
Passed by City Council on May 16th, 2006
Revision passed by City Council on May 7th , 2013
- Foundation of the City of Reykjavík’s Human Rights Policy
- Gender equality
- Sexual orientation
- Religion and political views
- Origin and nationality
- The City of Reykjavík as Cooperative Partner
- Knowledge acquisition and dissemination
- Responsibility and procedure
of city inhabitants, insomuch as many of them belong to more than one of the groups it covers.
b) The City of Reykjavík as an Employer
c) The City of Reykjavík as Service Provider
d) The City of Reykjavík as Cooperative Partner
The City of Reykjavík emphasizes cooperation with other public entities, the academic community and organizations that work towards building up and encouraging initiative, innovation, and knowledge acquisition in the field of equality and human rights.
When appointing committees, commissions and councils, the aim should be to have the proportion of men to women as even as possible and never less than 40% when there are more than 3 people, in accordance with article 15 og the Act on Equality. Gender equality should also be a guiding principle when representatives are selected for for strategic planning committees and major decisions.
2.1.1 In the decision-making process and allocation of funds the needs and opinions of both sexes should be used as a guide, and the effect of decisions on their position needs to be analysed. The City of Reykjavik will use gender budgeting in this work.
2.1.2 The City of Reykjavík resolves to combat gender-related violence, whether it be mental, physical or sexual. The entire City’s work is to be guided by this aim and an action plan will be developed with this is mind.
2.1.3 The City of Reykjavík resolves to combat pornography, pornification, prostitution, and human trafficking. For this reason it is important to work with local police to effect a halt to the operation of strip clubs in the city acting as venues of prostitution.
2.2 The City of Reykjavík as Employer
It is to be ensured by means of an organised equal rights program that men, women and transgender enjoy equal rights in every respect in the City of Reykjavík’s work-places.
2.2.1 Equal rights aspects shall be given the same consideration as other aspects when recruiting for City of Reykjavík posts. An applicant of the sex which is in the minority in the profession in question shall, other things being equal, be given priority of employment if s/he is equally or better qualified than other applicants. It is not permissible when recruiting to treat the sexes differently on the basis of marriage or family situation, pregnancy or possible child-bearing or of other factors where gender related personal circumstances might be expected to influence matters.
2.2.2 Care should be taken in all advertisements under the auspices of City of Reykjavík institutions and companies to ensure the equality of all groups and equal respect for both sexes, in accordance with article 18 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. Advertisements for employment should generally be non-gender specific, but in cases where the nature of the job concerned favours one of the sexes, it should be mentioned in the advertisement, and should refer to article 26 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men.
wage-gap, and that it should therefore be eliminated wherever it might occur.
2.2.4 Working conditions are to be guided by the needs of both sexes. Gender equality is to be a guiding principle in the assignment of tasks, in job-transfers, organisational changes, and in possible dismissals. Use is to be made of career development and lifelong learning to achieve increased sexual equality and equal respect for both sexes in the work-place.
2.2.5 The City of Reykjavík wishes to make use of the possibilities of flexibility in the work-place to make it easier for employees to coordinate their job, private life and family responsibilities, and for management to meet varying work requirements. Employees are to be given the opportunity of having flexible working hours, part-time jobs or other optimisation of working hours or working arrangements where these might be relevant, and where they might be suitable either for women or men as well as for the work. Particular emphasis is placed on combating stereotypes regarding the role-division of the sexes as far as family responsibility is concerned, and men are urged to make use of flexibility, part-time jobs or other means to allow them to assume their full family responsibility.
2.2.6 The City of Reykjavík will not tolerate any pornography or pornification in the workplace. Sexual harassment is absolutely not permissible in City work-places. Reference is made to article 2 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men, concerning the definition of sexual harassment and in addition to these any pornography or pornification in the workplace is considered one of the manifestations of sexual harassment. If a senior employee or union representative is informed of such behaviour, that person must, in consultation with a director or depending on the circumstances other senior members of the administration, put a stop to it without delay. If a senior employee is charged the victim, in accordance with article 22 of the Act of Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men, is to suffer no loss from the measures which are implemented to this end. Serious or recurring harassment can lead to the dismissal of the perpetrator without notice. Procedure policy about how sexual harassment should be dealt with is to be accessible to employees.
2.3 The City of Reykjavík as a Centre of Services
2.3.2 All child-care and recreation programs, education and training under the jurisdiction of the City of Reykjavík and its institutions is to have the equal status of the sexes as a guiding principle. Children and young people are to be encouraged to develop their potential and go about their personal development without the inhibiting influence of traditional gender-images. Positive relations and mutual respect between the sexes are to be supported in all work with young people. The educational authorities in Reykjavík, along with the directors of social- and recreation programs, are to support a positive gender-image of girls and boys and to combat the harmful effects of the normalisation of pornographic ideals among the young.
3.1 The City of Reykjavík as Government Authority
3.1.1 The views and needs of the inhabitants are to be taken into consideration, regardless of age.
3.1.2 When decisions are being made which could affect people because of their age, the needs and opinions of people of different ages are to be used as a guide.
3.1.3 When decision-making is underway which particularly affects certain age groups, representatives of those groups are consulted.
3.2.5 In all work with children and young people, qualified employees are to afford the children care and protection and to see that they are as safe as they can be. Care is to be taken that the number of employees is sufficient to ensure this.
In service provision, the fact that people’s service requirements differ according to their age is to be taken into account.
3.3.1 City inhabitants are to have equal access to the city’s services, regardless of age, as long as the services aren’t geared towards particular groups, such as programs for children and adolescents. When services are being set up, the needs of all age groups are to be used as a guide, and it should be examined whether the effect of the services could be different for women and men.
people as the same, even though they belong to a certain group, and particular care needs to be taken to analyse on one hand the situation of disabled women in the city, and of disabled men on the other.
4.2 The City of Reykjavík as Employer
Qualification- and performance-related pay and other decisions which affect employees’ terms of employment are to be based on objective grounds, regardless of disability.
4.2.1 A disabled applicant is to enjoy the priority claim to jobs for the City if s/he is equally or more able than other applicants, cf. article 32 of law no. 59/1992 on disability issues. Disabled individuals are to enjoy the same terms of employment as the able-bodied, cf. article 1 of law no. 59/1992 on disability issues.
4.2.2 When a disabled employee is recruited, it should be ensured that s/he receives appropriate working facilities. Care should be taken that a disabled employee benefits from life-long learning and career development to the same degree as other employees.
4.3 The City of Reykjavík as Service Centre
4.3.2 All child-care and recreation programs, education and training under the auspices of the City is to be guided by the needs of disabled people of both sexes. Disability should not be a matter for embarrassment, and teaching material is always to show the diversity of human life where relevant.
5.1 The City of Reykjavík as Government Authority
5.2 The City of Reykjavík as Employer
5.2.2 The state of an employee’s health or their medical history may not, without objective grounds, influence their recruitment, terms of employment or dismissal. If objective grounds are cited, it must be incontestable that they relate to the nature of the job.
5.2.3 If changes need to be made to an employee’s job responsibilities, the employee and the City are to have full consultation.
5.2.4 Illness alone is not sufficient reason to dismiss people from their job unless it has a substantial and protracted effect with the result that it prevents the person in question from being able to perform their job. An employee can be retired from work on the grounds of illness, on the condition that it is done according to the provision of the law and of contracts on the matter.
5.2.5 Care is to be taken that employees benefit from life-long learning and career development, regardless of their state of health.
5.2.6 Employees are to do everything in their power to create an atmosphere that is free of prejudice towards all individuals at work.
5.3 The City of Reykjavík as Service Centre
Access to services should be ensured, regardless of people’s state of health.
6.2 The City of Reykjavík as Employer
6.2.1 People’s right to express themselves – or not to express themselves – about their sexual orientation is to be respected.
6.2.2 Employees are to do everything in their power to create an atmosphere that is free from prejudice towards LGBTQI employees.
6.3 The City of Reykjavík as Service Centre
6.3.1 All child-care and recreation programs, education and training is to be guided by the fact that participants might be LGBTQI or heterosexual. People’s differing sexualities should be discussed without embarrassment, and teaching material is always to show the diversity of human life where relevant.
7.1 The City of Reykjavík as Government Authority
7.1.2 When decisions are being made which particularly concern specific religious groups, they should be consulted.
7.2 The City of Reykjavík as Employer
7.2.1 The City’s human resource policy (article 1.2) states that care should be taken not to favour certain employees over others on the grounds of gender, race, political opinions, religious beliefs or other unobjective reasons, in regard to terms of employment.
7.2.2 All employees are to enjoy the same opportunities for career development and further education, regardless of religious or political views.
7.2.3 All employees of the City are responsible for creating an atmosphere which is free from prejudice.
7.2.4 People’s right to express themselves – or not to express themselves – about their religious and political views is to be respected. Religious observance or the expression of political views, however, must not disturb activity in the work-place.
7.3 The City of Reykjavík as Service Centre
7.3.1 Everybody should have equal accessibility to the services of the City of Reykjavík, regardless of political or religious views.
7.3.2 In child-care and recreation programs, education and training under the auspices of the City, consideration is to be given to the differing customs associated with different religions. It is important not to make the assumption that everybody subscribes to the same faith, even though traditional religious festivals of the Lutheran church are celebrated. The world’s religions are to be taught by means of teaching material, and in it,
the diversity of human life is always to be shown where relevant.
7.3.3 City services are to be characterised by positive relations and mutual respect, regardless of people’s political or religious views. The environment and services within the City domain should be free from prejudice against the religious or political views of the city’s inhabitants. Action should be taken to eliminate prejudices which are based on religious and political views.
The City of Reykjavík will work to prevent discrimination regarding working conditions, employee training and continuous education for persons of foreign origin. Immigrants and persons of foreign origin are to enjoy the same opportunities for promotion and development as those of other employees. Immigrants will be given the opportunity to participate in work-based Icelandic language learning depending on their needs and
receive education on work schedules, service goals and workplace culture.
The City of Reykjavík will work to counter prejudice against city employees due to origin, skin colour, nationality or cultural background within its workplaces. Diversity training will be offered in city workplaces when needed.
8.3 The City of Reykjavík as a centre for services provided Immigrants and persons of foreign origin are to be guaranteed ready access to city
them with special support and instruction in the Icelandic language in order to allow them to enjoy these services to the same degree as other children. The diversity and complexity of the community will be introduced in work with children and youth, and they will be given an opportunity to present their own native culture and language. City institutions will prepare accessible, comprehensible information material on city services in the languages spoken by those groups who are the most numerous in Reykjavík. This includes Internet sites, brochures and advertising where applicable. City staff will make an effort to create an atmosphere free from prejudice towards individuals on the basis of their origin, skin colour, nationality or cultural background. City employees should be cordial in their interactions with immigrants and give themselves time to listen to what they are saying even though they are not speaking perfect Icelandic.
9.2 All City committees and councils who allocate grants are obliged to be mindful of human rights aspects when allocating it.
9.4 The City of Reykjavík reserves the right to request that those parties working in cooperation with it which receive financial support operate a human rights plan with assessable targets. In this way, an attempt is to be made to ensure that money is distributed equally to both sexes and that the activity which is being supported is shaped by a respect for people.
10.2 The City of Reykjavík is to follow up its policy formation and investigate the situation of City employees and to make a separate analysis of both sexes.
10.3 In all the City’s data gathering and analysis, the information is to be broken down according to sex (cf. article 21 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men) and at the same time, according to the groups which the policy covers wherever relevant.
10.4 All knowledge which the City of Reykjavík gathers, is to be disseminated in an organised fashion within the City and used to improve services, combat prejudices, support equality in the City’s work-places and to inform the inhabitants of Reykjavík.
10.5 All of the City’s informational material should, as much as possible, reflect the diversity of society.
11.1 The leaders and employees of the City are responsible for ensuring that everybody’s human rights are respected within City administration, in its places of work and in its services, and they are moreover to be enabled to do this with capital and instruction in the field of human rights matters.
a) following the policy in their work.
b) operating a human rights plan for all sectors of the City, side by side with a work schedule and financial plan.
c) appointing specific human rights representatives in all institutions with more tham 25 employees and stating their area of operation and responsibility,
d) promoting the policy.
a) that instruction in equal rights forms part of education in accordance with the curricula for pre-schools and compulsory schools from 2011.
b) that the curricula does not discriminate against people on the grounds of gender, combats prejudice and typical gender stereotypes, and has the human rights of all groups as a guiding principle.
c) that teaching methods are guided by the diverse society which we live in,
d) that in educational and vocational guidance, emphasis is placed on promoting for both sexes, jobs which up until now have been viewed as traditionally female or male jobs.
a) organising social and recreational programs with equal rights as a guiding principle,
b) ensuring that organisations which enjoy facilities, financial support or other amenities which the City of Reykjavík provides, such as sports practice, are mindful of equal rights in every respect.
a) that extensive equal rights are safeguarded in the City’s services,
b) that prejudice is actively opposed within service establishments and in relation to service receivers.
a) make sure that the policy is followed up,
b) develop a strategic working plan of implementation for human rights in cooperation with sectors and offices of the City and of special interest groups, side by side with a work schedule and financial plan,
c) request work schedules from sectors in human rights issues on a yearly basis,
d) request a report on the implementation of the City of Reykjavík’s human rights policy from all sectors on a yearly basis,
e) promote the policy and support the gathering of knowledge and the dissemination of information.
a) create, in cooperation with the Human Rights Committee, a plan of implementation for human rights issues,
b) follow up the Human Rights Committee’s decisions,
c) support consultation within the City in those matters which the policy covers,
d) work in conjunction with organisations and other municipalities in matters which the policy covers,
e) consult with appointed human rights representatives in the different sectors,
f) support consultation in the field of human rights within the City,
g) take the initiative for projects,
h) safeguard that city residents are not discriminated against on the grounds of origin, skin colour, religion, age, political views, sex, sexual orientation, economic situation, family extraction, disability, state of health or any other status.