Equal Opportunities Legislation

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Equal Opportunities Legislation

40TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Geneva, Switzerland, 19-23 March 2001

WP No. 166

Equal Opportunities Legislation


It is important to prepare a statement regarding the policy that will be added to IFATCA manual about equal opportunities.

Discrimination can be found in all professions. It can restrict the opportunity to study the profession, or affect salaries, social conditions and physical conditions at work. Management attitudes can vary.

SC7 has never received any formal complaint about discrimination, however, a policy statement on this subject should be a part of the IFATCA manual as a general declaration.

The policy should refer to all aspects of equal opportunities legislation in the air traffic control profession as a guide to MAs.


The IFATCA manual deals with the subject briefly. The existing policy states:

“MAs should bring to the notice of SC7 any evidence of anomalies caused by equal opportunities legislation that they would wish SC7 to study.”


The policy above is still useful but SC7 feels there is a need to discuss the matter in more detail and to specify the policy more clearly.

On the I.L.O. website, one can find the basic declaration of the organization – the declaration of the Philadelphia, which stated that:

“all human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, have the right to pursue their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic and equal opportunity.”

The declaration above is adopted by the I.L.O. as the definitive statement on the issue of equal opportunities and equal value against discrimination in employment and occupation.

Discrimination and non equal opportunities might occur in the following four areas, and cause difficulties at work, development at work, mobility and more.

  • Sex – The attitude towards the differences between men and women can create discrimination at work as well at the social life.
  • Political – In many of the countries we can find discrimination based on political opinions and some political groups are suffering from nonequal opportunities at work.
  • Ethnic – These groups can suffer a lot. It is connect with discrimination based on the wish to keep them powerless.
  • Cultural – the discrimination in the cultural area can be found in countries with a separation and differences between parts of the population by their resources, language and religion.

According to I.L.O, there are some major areas that it is important to take care of, to assure equal opportunities for all.

  • Employment and development – to ensure that there is equality of choice of profession and employer, and the ability to develop at it. To improve the chance of mobility at work.
  • Training – the basic condition to maintain and improve qualification and development.
  • Industrial relations and labour administration – the opportunity to improve the conditions at work and to protect the employee.
  • Work conditions – to assure that every one will have his/her needs: physical conditions at work and reasonably convenient hours.
  • Social security – the worker should know about his equal rights, pension, medical etc.
  • Professional opportunities – the possibility to move on, change positions, and develop at the specific profession.

SC7 feel that it is important to have a statement to guide M.A.s in their negotiations with the authorities.


The discussion in this paper has raised the need for a statement that will make clear IFATCA policy concerning equal opportunities.

It is proposed that the following should form the IFATCA policy on this subject: “IFATCA accepts the ILO declaration concerning discrimination and equal opportunities. MAs should endeavour to ensure that. the relevant authorities provide equal opportunities for all air traffic control staff.”


It is recommended that the following statement be accepted as IFATCA policy and placed in the manual on page 4431 as paragraph 3.3.2:

“IFATCA accepts the ILO declaration concerning discrimination and equal opportunities. MAs should endeavour to ensure that. the relevant authorities provide equal opportunities for all air traffic control staff.”

Last Update: September 28, 2020  

March 12, 2020   290   Jean-Francois Lepage    2001    

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