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Several equality bodies participated in this year’s Asia-Europe Meeting organized in Vilnius under the patronage of Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders. The topic of the conference was women’s economic empowerment, a crucial field for the work of equality bodies in Europe where women still suffer significant economic inequalities.

 

A public hearing, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), took place on 19 May in Brussels. The aim of this hearing was to look at equal treatment, equality bodies and other possible means of redress for Roma.

 

Twenty years after the adoption of the original version of GPR No. 2: Specialised bodies to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance at national level in 1997, ECRI decided to revise its text in order to include the experience and the many good practices that have developed during this time. The revised text shall help to further strengthen specialised bodies, which are vital for advancing equality and for eliminating racism and intolerance in a sustained manner.

 

On 3 May 2017, Equinet organised a strategic meeting for its members to discuss further steps that could be taken to achieve the introduction and strengthening of standards for equality bodies. The meeting was attended by 21 equality body staff members (representing 19 equality bodies) from 17 jurisdictions.

 

Equinet Chair Evelyn Collins met with a number of European stakeholders recently in order to update them on our work and discuss common areas of interest.

 

On Wednesday 26 April, the European Commission launched its proposal for the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Commission has also put forward a number of legislative and non-legislative initiatives related to work-life balance, the information of workers, access to social protection and working time.

 

On the 24th of April, the Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth (ACIG) on ’youth and social inclusion’ was held in Brussels. It brought together policy makers and civil society to discuss what the EU can do to ensure that all citizens reap the benefits of truly inclusive growth. Equinet and partners organised a side event on ’Ensuring the right of young people to adequate income’.

 

On April 6-7, 2017, a regional workshop for equality bodies on eliminating violence against women was held in Tbilisi, organised in cooperation by the European Commission, the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia and Equinet, within the framework of the European Commission’s Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) instrument.

This was one of the official events of the European Commission’s year of focused actions to combat violence against women.

 

The Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in Hungary hosted the kick off meeting for our project on combating violence against women on 22 March. This was followed by the Working Group meeting on Gender Equality on 23 March.

 

The perspective aims to draw out, analyse and learn from the work and experience of equality bodies in combating discrimination against young people and to tease out the implications of their work for policy and practice development.

 

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