Developing standards for equality bodies
Standards: A Working Paper based on the outcome of discussions with our members seeks to establish positions that equality bodies could promote, negotiate and advance vis-à-vis European and national administrations in the establishment of standards for equality bodies at European level and their implementation at national level. The paper will be officially launched on 15 June in the presence of Commissioner Věra Jourová, on the eve of our June conference. Read more...
Equinet Events in June
Equal Treatment Legislation: On 16 June 2016, Equinet will host a conference at the EESC in Brussels, entitled 'Strengthening the effectiveness of European equal treatment legislation'. Discussions will focus on the experiences of equality bodies and other stakeholders with the implementation and possible gaps in EU equal treatment legislation. The specific challenge of creating the conditions for equality bodies to fulfil their potential will also be discussed. We are pleased to confirm European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly as our keynote speaker. Register by 3 June. Read more...
Past Equinet Events
Updated information regarding the following events are now online:
- Summary of Roundtable on work-life balance, pregnancy and parenthood related discrimination, held in Brussels on 20 April. Read more...
- Presentations from Seminar on gender equality in education, held in Prague on 19-20 May. Read more...
Human Rights: Equinet Chair Evelyn Collins represented Equinet at an International Conference in Belfast on 26-27 May which focused on sharing the features and benefits of a Human Rights based approach with a bespoke staff manual and on-line tools. She highlighted the work of the Equinet Network in general and the importance of bringing an equality and diversity perspective to bear in the work of Ombudsmen and NHRIs. Read more...
Croatia: Annual Report rejected by Parliament
On 20 May, the Office of the Ombudsman of Croatia had their annual report rejected by the Croatian Parliament by 63 votes to 49. According to the Ombudswoman Lora Vidović, “the rejection of the 2015 Ombudswoman Report in the Croatian Parliament represents political pressure on the independence of the institution. This is further supported by the fact that members of parliament had previously unanimously adopted the Report during discussions in relevant parliamentary committees.” Read more...
Slovakia: Annual Report published
The Slovak National Centre for Human Rights recently published the 2015 Annual Report on the Activities of the Centre. Available in English and Slovak, it highlights the work of the equality body throught the past year. Read more...
Denmark: International progress and Danish setbacks for Human Rights
The Danish Institute for Human Rights' 2015 Annual Report offers an overview of the most important improvements and setbacks for human rights in Denmark. The institute has a legal obligation to provide an annual account on human rights for the Danish Parliament and the report serves as a key document in the institute’s counselling on human rights issues to the Danish members of parliament. Read more...
The Danish Institute for Human Rights's blog recently focused on the issue of how discrimination against persons with disabilities should be forbidden outside the labour market. Read more (in Danish)...
Norway: Work-life Balance
Work-Life Balance: The
Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud recently had a breakfast meeting with researchers, politicians and trade unions, asking whether Norwegian work places are ready for “the world’s best dad”? (i.e. whether they are prepared to implement work life balance for working dads, including leave and flexible working arrangements) Read more (in Norwegian)...
Germany: FADA highlights legal injustices against Homosexuals causing law to be changed
More than 50,000 men were convicted and sentenced to sometimes lengthy jail terms between 1946 and 1969 under the infamous Paragraph 175, which deemed homosexuality to be a punishable crime. While homosexuality was decriminalised in 1969, the law was not abolished until 1994 and the sentences were never lifted. A study carried out on behalf of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency concluded there was no reason the men should not have the judgements annulled be legally rehabilitated. The Minister for Justice Heiko Maas has thus agreed to overturn the convictions and allow for financial compensation to the men who suffered under the legislation. Read more...
United Kingdom: #PowertotheBump & Strategic Plan
Recently the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) launched their new campaign ‘#PowertotheBump’ which highlights young mothers' rights at work in an effort to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Their research shows that young mothers are at higher risk of discrimination and disadvantage. Read more...
The EHRC has published its Strategic Plan for 2016–19, which has also been laid in Parliament. Its four strategic objectives are to have:
- Significant impact – to secure advances in equality and human rights in priority areas
- A strong evidence base – to provide authoritative analysis and insight
- Sustainable infrastructure – to ensure an effective and sustainable infrastructure to protect rights in practice
- Improved capability – to be an expert, independent and authoritative national body
Malta: Government 'committed' to agenda that mainstreams equality, human rights in all spheres
The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) reviewed the work undertaken in 2015 based on its Annual Report
at its 12th Annual Conference. Addressing the Annual Conference, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Hon. Helena Dalli, explained that a number of important developments concerning equality took place over the past year, highlighting government commitment to an agenda that mainstreams equality and human rights in all spheres of life and to a policy framework that tackles discrimination, social exclusion and violence. Dr Dalli highlighted the work in hand to widen the remit of NCPE for it to develop into a Human Rights and Equality Commission. Read more...
The European Commission has announced that it will be launching an infringement procedure against Hungary for on-going discrimination against Roma children in schools. The aim of the Commission’s decision to launch an infringement procedure is to ensure that Hungary will implement a solution to rectify the suspected violation of EU law. Read more...
The Commission together with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft (“the IT companies”) have unveiled a code of conduct
that includes a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe. Read more...
European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
Over one million people sought refuge in the EU in 2015, a fivefold increase from the year before. In its Fundamental Rights Report 2016, FRA examines the scale and nature of the challenge and proposes measures to ensure fundamental rights are respected across the EU. The work of Equinet and equality bodies, in particular in relation to tackling discrimination by strengthening the implementation of the Racial Equality Directive, is highlighted. Read more...
The FRA Opinion concerning requirements under Article 33 (2) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities within the EU context aims to clarify the requirements of an EU Framework in light of the monitoring practice and jurisprudence of the CRPD Committee and – with regard to the concept of independence –the Committee interpreting the Paris Principles on the establishment of National Human Rights. Read more...
"Ensuring justice for hate crime victims: professional perspectives" draws on practices from across the European Union (EU) on how to combat hate crime as well as interviews with experts from law enforcement, criminal justice, and civil society organisations. Read more...
FRA also recently launched the online compendium of practices for combating hate crime
from across the EU. It aims to help policymakers and practitioners such as law enforcement officers understand what is being done elsewhere in the EU to combat hate crime, and which elements could be adapted for use in their own national contexts.
European Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination
The objective of this report is to compare and contrast anti-discrimination law in the 28 EU Member States and EU candidate countries (namely the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). Read more...
Gender Equality Law:
This report provides a general overview of the ways in which EU gender equality law has been implemented in the domestic laws of the 28 Member States of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (the EEA countries) and four candidate countries (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). Read more...
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
The ongoing migration crisis and the terror attacks were the key factors that influenced public debate and policies in Europe in 2015, said the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in its annual report. Read more...
National independent authorities combating racism and intolerance met in Strasbourg on 26-27 May to identify barriers to the national Specialised Bodies’ advisory role to legislative and executive authorities, to establish how to address them and to find the support needed for this work, as well as to establish how these bodies can maximise the impact of this work. Read more...
ECRI issued its General Policy Recommendations no. 16 on Safeguarding Irregularly Present Migrants from Discrimination. With these recommendations, ECRI seeks to support states in addressing a pressing issue of discrimination against individuals - women, men and children - who do not, or no longer, fulfil the conditions under national law for entry or stay in a member State of the Council of Europe. Read more...
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights judgement on the question of just satisfaction in the case Winterstein and Others v. France (application no. 27013/07)
ruled that 25 French Travellers, evicted from land they called home, should receive awards totalling more than €350,000. The applicants are 25 French nationals acting on their own behalf and on behalf of their minor children. Read more...
Religion or Belief:
The Grand Chamber judgement in the case of İzzettin Doğan and Others v. Turkey (application no. 62649/10)
held that there had been a violation of Article 9 (right to freedom of religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 9 of the European Convention. The case concerned the domestic authorities’ refusal to provide the applicants, who are followers of the Alevi faith with the public religious service which, in the applicants’ assertion, is provided exclusively to citizens adhering to the Sunni understanding of Islam. Read more...
European Youth Forum
The European Youth Forum Report “Social inclusion and young people – excluding youth: a threat to our future” highlights that the European social model is no longer protecting young people, and they are now at higher risk of social exclusion and poverty. Read more...
European Network against Racism
Muslim women experience the same inequalities as other women in employment and in relation to verbal and physical violence, but they are compounded by additional factors of (perceived) religion and/or ethnicity. However, very little is done to collect comprehensive data and tackle this intersectional form of racism. This is the conclusion of the European Network Against Racism’s new report “Forgotten Women: the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim Women”, covering eight European countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Read more...
No Hate Parliamentary Alliance
No Hate: Officially launched in January 2015, the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance is an alliance of parliamentarians who commit to taking open, firm and pro-active stands against racism, hatred and intolerance on whatever grounds and however they manifest themselves. They did this by signing a
Charter of commitments for membership of the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance. Read more...