Equinet Newsbook - January 2017

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New year, new opportunities!

Equinet Events 2017: Equinet turns 10 this year! This will be cause for celebration and reflection throughout the year, especially at our anniversary conference and accompanying celebrations, due to be held in October. We also have several interesting conferences, seminars and training sessions planned for 2017. Read more..

Registration is now open for our members to the following capacity-building activities:

Equality month by month

Equinet Calendar 2017: As a celebratory gesture on the occasion of the ten year anniversary, we have put together a 2017 calendar highlighting the work of some of our members across Europe. The calendar includes examples of cases from 12 Equinet members to illustrate the important work of national equality bodies in promoting equality and diversity in their respective countries. Read more..

Meet National Equality Bodies!

Social Media: We have started a new campaign on Twitter. Each week, one of our member equality bodies gets to tweet through the @equineteurope Twitter account. Through their stories, you will discover more about the day-to-day work of equality bodies and how they tackle discrimination in their country. Follow  their work via #MeetNEBsRead more..

Equinet response to consultation on European Pillar of Social Rights

Social Rights: In its response to the European Commission’s public consultataion on the First Preliminary Outline of a European Pillar of Social Rights, Equinet outlines its hopes for the proposed Pillar, particularly that it:

  • Embodies a renewed commitment to the human rights of all persons living in the European Union, of which social and economic rights form an indivisible part.
  • Will contribute to a holistic European legislative and policy framework recognizing the interdependence of sustainable growth with respect for the rights of individuals 
Read more..

Updated Equinet brochure

Promoting Equality: What are equality bodies? Why do we need equality bodies? What challenges do equality bodies face? This brochure aims to raise awareness about the role of and challenges faced by equality bodies at national and EU level, but also, on the way they can cooperate and bring added value to the work of stakeholders in their daily work. Read more..

Strengthening the effectiveness of European Equal Treatment Legislation

Effective legislation:  Equinet Conference - Strengthening the effectiveness of European Equal Treatment Legislation, Brussels, 16 June 2016 - Presentations and conference report here..

Members News

UK: Supreme Court rules wheelchair spaces on buses must have priority

Disability: In a recent judgement from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the court found that bus companies must end discriminatory ‘first come, first served’ policies, and do more to give priority to wheelchair users. Bus companies should have clear policies in place, and give training to drivers to remove the barriers wheelchair users face when using buses.  Read more..

Norway: Tighter gender roles threaten equality 

Gender Equality: The Norwegian Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud has recently published a report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In the report, the Ombud describes the main equality challenges in Norway, including harassment, violence, digital violence and rape. One of the main focuses of the report is how stereotypes and narrow gender roles affect the realisation of fundamental rights for women and girls.  Read more..

Germany: Survey on discrimination against homosexual and bisexual persons

Sexual Orientation: In 2017, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) in Germany will focus on raising awareness about the rights of LGBT people in their campaign ‘Equal Rights for every Love'. FADA recently published the preliminary results of a survey focusing on the perceptions of mainstream society in relation to homosexual and bisexual people. The full survey results will be available in spring 2017. Read more..

Latvia: Research on accessibility of higher education institutions for people with disabilities

Disability: The Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Latvia has conducted a survey in order to evaluate the accessibility of higher education for persons with disabilities.
The Ombudsman's Office organised a related conference on the issue of accessibility for inclusive education, as well as an award ceremony for non-governmental organizations that support people with disabilities. 
 Read more..

European News

A comparative analysis of gender equality law in Europe 2016

Gender Equality: This report provides a general overview of the ways in which EU gender equality law has been implemented in the domestic laws across Europe. The analysis is based on the country reports written by the gender equality law experts of the European equality law network (EELN).  Read more..

A comparative analysis of non-discrimination law in Europe 2016

Non-discrimination: This report, written by the European network of legal experts in gender equality and nondiscrimination, presents the general trends in European anti-discrimination policy and points out some of the remaining dilemmas in the application of anti-discrimination legislation. Read more..

Supporting people with psychosocial disabilities in the workplace

This report, written by the European network of legal experts in gender equality and nondiscrimination, discusses the situation for people with psychosocial disabilities in the workplace in light of the Employment Equality Directive and other relevant anti-discrimination regulations, including the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.  Read more..

Combatting sexist hate speech

Gender and Hate Speech:  
The Council of Europe (CoE) is working on combating sexist hate speech by looking at the potential use of existing standards and at policies on combating gender stereotypes. Sexist hate speech is a daily phenomenon for many women that is only beginning to be addressed. It requires both legal remedies and action to combat gender stereotypes. Read more..

Step Up! Campaign

Combatting Violence against Women:  
PICUM and WAVE have launched a campaign to improve access to services for undocumented women and women who have precarious immigration status. The campaign is based on four core principles:
1.  Women’s rights are human rights
2.  Protection and safety come first
3.  Give them a way out, a way forward
4.  Solidarity against discrimination 
Read more..

Court of Justice of the European Union

Age: Case C‑539/15 - Daniel Bowman v. Pensionsversicherungs-anstalt – 21 December 2016  
A change in the national collective labour agreement rules allowed for periods of school education under the age of 18 to be taken into account when calculating the advancement to the next salary level. With that change however, also the period for moving to the next salary level has been extended, which the applicant argued constitutes age discrimination.
Conclusion: No violation. The judgement is accessible here.  

European Court of Human Rights

Osmanoǧlu and Kocabaş v. Switzerland – 10 January 2017 

The case concerned the refusal of Muslim parents to send their daughters to compulsory mixed swimming lessons as part of their schooling and the authorities’ refusal to grant them an exemption. The applicants alleged that the requirement to send their daughters to mixed swimming lessons was contrary to their religious convictions. 
Conclusion: No violation. The judgement is accessible here 
Disability: Kacper Nowakowski v. Poland - 10 January 2017 
Polish authorities failed to facilitate contact between deaf and mute father and his son. The case concerned the contact rights of a deaf and mute father with his son, who also has a hearing impairment. The applicant complained in particular about the dismissal of his request to extend contact with his son.
Conclusion: Violation of article 8 (Family life). The judgement is accessible here. 
Ethnicity: Király and Dömötör v. Hungary – 17 January 2017
The case concerned an anti-Roma demonstration. Király and Dömötör – both of whom are of Roma origin – alleged that the police had failed to protect them from racist abuse during the demonstration and to properly investigate the incident.The Court found that the authorities failed to protect the applicants.
Conclusion: Violation of article 8 (Private life).  The judgement is accessible here. 

Age and Gender: Khamtokhu and Aksenchik v. Russia – 24 January 2017 
The applicants alleged that, as adult males serving life sentences for a number of serious criminal offences, they had been discriminated against as compared to other categories of convicts – women, persons under 18 when their offence had been committed or over 65 when the verdict had been delivered – who were exempt from life imprisonment by operation of the law.
Conclusion: No violation. The judgement is accessible here. 
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Equinet is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union (2014-2020).