"Why and how to build to a national knowledge base on equality and discrimination on the grounds of racial and ethnic origin, religion and belief, disability, age and sexual orientation"

 This handbook, produced by the Finnish Ministry of Labour with the support of the European Commission, represents an important step in tackling this knowledge gap. It does so by analysing what information can usefully be gathered, and by providing advice on how best to collect these data in practice.

It provides some concrete suggestions on how national data collection measures could be developed. Its advice should prove useful for politicians, civil servants, equality groups, specialised bodies for the promotion of equal treatment, those working within the justice system and non-governmental organisations.

The aims of this handbook are to stimulate an informed public debate as well as to bring about improvements in the collection of equality data. 2007 is the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All. With this handbook, we want to help contribute to making equal treatment a reality. [extract]

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