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Equality Bodies

On 28 February 2017, a bill aiming to repeal Romanian Anti-discrimination Law was tacitly adopted by the Romanian Chamber of Deputies. If this bill had been adopted, it would seriously have affected the National Council for Combatting Discrimination (CNCD). However, on 14 March, the Senate decided not to accept the draft law.

 

In 2016, a new Protection from Discrimination Act entered into force in Slovenia, thus resulting in the Advocate of the Principle of Equality developing into an autonomous state body. This recent evolution brings about the potential to improve and increase the protection of persons at risk of discrimination in Slovenia, together with the opportunity to create a truly independent and effective equality body.

 

The research “Education and Community Living as a Precondition of Equality of Children with Disabilities” was carried out in the period from May to October 2015 within the project “Children with Disabilities in Residential Institutions as Victims of Multiple Discrimination”. The aim of the project is to contribute to the fight against discrimination against children with disabilities in the education system, and it is implemented by the Mental Disabilities Rights Initiative MDRI-S in partnership with the Initiative for Inclusion VelikiMali and cooperation with the Commissioner for Protection of Equality. The project is supported by the European Union under the Civil Society Facility 2013.

 

UN CEDAW Committee ‘Concluding Observations’ reflect crucial gaps in Ireland’s compliance with international obligations highlighted to the UN by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

 

On 28 February, ECRI released new reports on combatting racism and intolerance in Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland and Luxembourg. It also released the conclusions on the implementation of priority recommendations in respect of Belgium and Germany.

 

A court in Berlin awarded a teacher with headscarf, who was prevented from teaching at a primary school, 8680 € compensation.

 

On February 9 the Danish Government announced that they will introduce a general prohibition of discrimination on the ground of disability. "It’s fantastic news. Together with the Danish disability organizations we have worked for a ban for many years. This means that people with disabilities will now be able to demand to be treated properly," says Maria Ventegodt Liisberg, Department Director for Equal Treatment at the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

 

2017 has been designated by the European Commission as the year dedicated to combating violence against women. Many equality bodies will be on the forefront of this work, carrying out projects aimed at developing and implementing practical and targeted information to combat violence against women, as well as awareness-raising and education activities.

 

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.

 

What are equality bodies? Why do we need equality bodies? What challenges do equality bodies face? This tool 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.

The work of Equinet, European network of equality bodies is also outlined. The network promotes equality in Europe by supporting and enabling the work of equality bodies to be independent and effective as valuable catalysts for more equal societies.

A useful list of Equinet members and the grounds of discrimination covered per country is also available.

Updated: January 2017

 

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