Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies, brings together 45 organizations from 33 European countries, which are empowered to counteract discrimination as national equality bodies across the range of grounds including age, disability, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.
This October newsletter highlights some of the work from different members thus giving voice to the learning and expertise from equality bodies and their work implementing equal treatment legislation.
Following unanimous ratification of new membership applications by the General Assembly, Equinet is pleased to welcome three new members, raising Equinet’s membership to 45 national equality bodies from 33 countries across Europe:
New Leadership Estonia: Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner
3/10/2015: Lissa Pakosta has been appointed as the new Estonian Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner. Graduated from the University of Tartu, she was Deputy-Mayor of Tallinn, a member of the Anti-Discrimination Committee and has management experience in the private sector as well as civil society organisations.
Netherlands: Netherlands Institute for Human RIghts
1/9/2015:Adriana van Dooijeweert has been appointed as Chair of the Board of Human Rights. She was previous President of the Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs. In addition, she has worked for almost thirty years as a judge and coordinating vice president in various sectors of the courts of den Bosch and The Hague.
Poland: Human Rights Defender
7/8/2015: The Senate of Poland has approved the appointment of Dr. Adam Bodnar, former vice president of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, to the position of Human Rights Defender. Holding a PhD degree from the University of Warsaw in the field of constitutional law, Adam Bodnar worked closely with international organizations such as the the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union and the United Nations Fund for Victims of Torture. Silwia Spurek has been appointed Deputy Ombudsman of the Human Rights Defender.
7/10/2015: The regional office of Styria held a symposium on Gender Performance and 15 years of the regional office, which looked at the challenges of 'Doing Gender & Difference', as well as equality in practice and future perspectives. Their next event will take place in Innsbruck on 21 October and will tackle equality in the workplace. .
Accessible online tool on anti-discrimination laws eDIv aims to help employers and HR managers in the private sector and in government by offering them a database of 120 concrete cases covering the anti-discrimination legislation linked to employment, particularly recruitment, team management, training and dismissal. It will also enable employers to exchange questions and good practice with each other.
15/09/2015: Jacques Toubon, Defender of Rights, officially launched an online platform entitled ’Egalité contre le racisme’ (Equality against Racism), aimed at providing practical tools and advice to combat cases of racial and ethnic discrimination. The goal is for people from various backgrounds - companies, NGOs, governments or simply concerned citizens - to be given the tools to provide efficient answers to discrimination and find the means to build a more equal society. 5/10/2015: The Colloquium 10 years of non-discrimination law, organised by the Defender of Rights, the Court of Cassation, the Council of State and the National Council of the French bars looked at developments in jurisprudence, litigation strategies and perspectives in the legal fight against discrimination.
Equal Treatment Directive Brunch at German Bundestag
15/10/2015: During a Parliamentary brunch, organised by LSVD Bundesverband and Amnesty International Germany, Christine Lüders (Head of FADA) called on MPs to question Germany's blocking of the Equal Treatment Directive of the European Union (the so-called Horizontal Directive) in the Parliament. For more information about the joint appeal for increased European discrimination protection, see here.
Involvement in Symposium on Ombudsman Institutions
16-17/9/2015: The Greek Ombudsman, Ms Calliope Spanou, participated in the Third International Symposium on Ombudsman Institutions, organized by the Ombudsman of the Republic of Turkey, in Ankara. The Ombudswoman started her speech by stating: ‘Discrimination on all grounds (gender, nationality, belief, disability, age, sexual orientation) is an area where both the legal culture and the overall civilization of a society are particularly tested’. To read the whole speech, click here.
The Equinet Media Library is an online platform that highlights the communication actions of national equality bodies across Europe.
Austria: Anti-Discrimination Campaign - This awareness raising campaign, carried out on advertising posts in public transport across Austria, aimed to provide information on rights in the scope of the Equal Treatment Act and to increase the name recognition of the Ombud for Equal Treatment.
Malta: Here We Are - Run by the National Commission for Persons with Disability, the main objective behind this campaign was to reach out to persons with disability and non-disabled persons alike with a clear and positive message that persons with disability come from all walks of life and that there are different facets to a person with disability’s identity.