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Equinet Newsbook - June 2016

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Equinet News

Equinet Press Release - Equality bodies united: Champions in fight for equality need stronger standards

Photograph Commissioner Jourova with Equinet Chair Evelyn CollinsStandards: Our Working Paper on developing standards for equality bodies was officially launched on 15 June. A press release summarised the main points, with supporting statements from Commissioner Jourová, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty and our Chair Evelyn Collins. On the occasion of a networking reception hosted in the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive, a copy of the paper was given to the Commissioner by Equinet Chair Evelyn Collins. Read more...
The press release was promoted by members in Belgium, Czech Republic and Portugal.


Equinet Conference - Strengthening the effectiveness of European Equal Treatment Legislation

Effective Legislation: On 16 June 2016, Equinet held a conference at the EESC in Brussels, entitled 'Strengthening the effectiveness of European equal treatment legislation'. Discussions focused 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 was also discussed.  Read more...


Joint Statement on evictions of Roma & Travellers in Europe

Roma: Throughout Europe, Roma and Travellers – particularly those living in informal settlements, slums or halting sites – face a disproportionately high threat of eviction. Equinet and partners have released a joint statement to condemn the recent evictions of Roma and Travellers in Europe. Signatories call on national, regional and, in particular, local authorities to find sustainable solutions to the housing problems that many Roma and Travellers face, in order to avoid evictions. Read more ENG / FR


External Events

Fundamental Rights: The European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) hosted the Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna, 20-23 June. Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks underlined the need for stronger equality bodies with more powers, greater independence and better resources; Equinet engagement focused in particular in highlighting the call for standards for equality bodies. Read more...

Members News

Ireland: IHREC publishes Annual Report 2015


Annual Report: The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has laid its Annual Report 2015 before the Houses of the Oireachtas. This is the first annual report to be submitted on the work of the Commission since it was established as an independent public body in November 2014. Read more...

Belgium in 2015: Living together put to the test


Annual Report: The year 2015 left a deep mark on our society. Violent conflicts and tensions on a global scale have had a direct impact on us. As Unia (Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities) finalises this annual report, Belgium is suffering the repercussions of the bomb attacks at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels. Read more...

UK: EHRC will be a strong independent voice in the conversation on people's rights
 

EU Referendum: David Isaac, the new Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), has written a blog post about the role of the EHRC in championing equality and human rights following the results of the referendum last week. The EHRC will continue to be a strong, independent and robust voice in protecting rights in the months ahead and in influencing the debate as the Government makes decisions and negotiates any new settlement with Europe as part of leaving the EU. Furthermore, Rebecca Hilsenrath, EHRC's Chief Executive Officer, has written about the rise in hate crime since the referendum. To combat this, the EHRC has launched a public information campaign, which provides important advice on how people can report hate speech and crime, as well as an overview of the law and how people can exercise their rights.

EU News

European Commission


Roma: The Commission has adopted its annual report on Roma integration. This year’s assessment provides, for the first time, an overview of the measures put in place by Member States following the 2013 Council Recommendation on effective Roma integration measures, which required them to develop National Roma Integration strategies to promote access of Roma to education, employment, healthcare and housing. Read more...

Council of the EU


Gender Equality: As part of the Council conclusions adopted on 16 June 2016, a reinforcement and continued support of the action of national institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women and gender equality was recommended, including equality bodies, which are crucial for the advancement of de jure and de facto gender equality, as well as that of the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet).  Read more...

Sexual Orientation: As part of the Council conclusions adopted on 16 June 2016, a reinforcement and continued support of the action of institutional mechanisms was recommended, including national Equality Bodies, which are crucial instruments for the non-discrimination of LGBTI persons, as well as that of the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet). Read more...

European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)


Access to Justice: The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Court of Human Rights have launched a practical handbook on European law relating to access to justice. “Access to justice is not just a right in itself. It is also a key enabler for making other fundamental rights a reality,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “This practical guide provides legal practitioners with a key legal resource to help them actively support all those who face barriers in fully and effectively enjoying access to justice.” Read more...

European Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination


Intersectional Discrimination: This report, prepared by the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination, aims to explore the following question: to what extent does existing EU gender equality and non-discrimination law address the notion of intersectional discrimination? Read more...

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

 
Race & Ethnic Origin: The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has published monitoring reports on Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" analysing recent developments and outstanding issues and providing recommendations to the authorities. Despite certain positive developments, ECRI notes, there are challenges ahead. Read more...

Furthermore, ECRI has published conclusions on the implementation of a number of recommendations made in its country reports on Finland, the Republic of Moldova, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Russian Federation and San Marino which had been released in 2013. Read more...

European Court of Human Rights


Sexual Orientation: The European Court of Human Rights judgement in the case Taddeucci and McCall v. Italy (application no. 51362/09) held that a refusal to grant a residence permit to a gay couple on family grounds was unjustified discrimination.Six votes to one voted that a violation had taken place of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken together with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.  Read more...

Opinion on Religion or Belief: In case C-157/15 Samira Achbita and Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v G4S Secure Solutions NV, the first ever case in front of the Court of Justice of the EU concerning discrimination on the grounds of religion and belief, Advocate General Kokott issued her Opinion on 31 May. The Opinion states that if the ban on wearing the headscarf at the workplace is based on a general company rule which prohibits political, philosophical and religious symbols from being worn visibly in the workplace, such a ban may be justified if it enables the employer to pursue the legitimate policy of ensuring religious and ideological neutrality. The Advocate General’s Opinion is not binding on the Court of Justice, however, it is often followed by the Court Read more...

European Institute for Gender Equality


Online Course on Violence against Women: An Online Discussion on proposed indicators for data collection on intimate partner violence, rape and femicide will take place on 7 July. It is organised in the context of EIGE’s Study on terminology and indicators used in data collection on rape, femicide and intimate partner violence carried out by the contractor Milieu Ltd. The study aims to address the lack of comparable and reliable EU-wide data on violence against women. Read more...

Gender Equality: EIGE has released an online Gender Equality Glossary and Thesaurus featuring over 400 accurate, up-to-date and gender-sensitive definitions. The glossary and thesaurus is a step towards ending confusion around key terms. It will allow everyone across the EU and beyond to understand gender equality concepts in the same way and suggest preferred terms of use. Read more...

HELP in the 28


Online Course on Racism, Xenophobia, Homophobia, Transphobia: The ‘HELP in the 28’ course “Fight against Racism, Xenophobia, Homophobia and Transphobia” covers in an interactive way the key concepts, the European (CoE and EU) non-discrimination law and the impressive body of case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), in addition to decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights. More specifically, the course has two substantive modules, one on racism and xenophobia, and the other one on homophobia and transphobia. A link to a specific module on Roma, the largest minority in the EU is also provided. One of the key reference materials to develop this course has been the Handbook on European non-discrimination law developed jointly by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Court of Human Rights. Read more...
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Equinet is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union (2014-2020).