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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Equinet has been busy over the past couple of years! Read our Highlights to find out more about our activities in 2015/6.

 

On the fringes of the Equinet board meeting in Warsaw on 16 March, Equinet board members and staff met with key actors in the field of equality in Poland, including the Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar, the Plenipotentiary for Civil Society and Equal Treatment and representatives of civil society.

 

 

Equality Bodies

The European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) will be meeting with the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights in their upcoming mission to Poland.

 

The Ombudsman institution was introduced in the Croatian legal system at the very beginning of the country’s independence, by the 1990 Constitution. However, further requirements for the beginning of its work were met two years later, by entering into force of the Ombudsman’s Act.

 

The Ombudsman calls for immediate adoption of swift, transparent, accessible procedures for the change of identity card and other identification documents of transgender people.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Europe

Despite some legal and social advances in the past two decades, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people continue to face widespread discrimination and violence in many countries. This leads to exclusion and adversely affects both the lives of LGBTI people as well as on the communities in which they live. This article explains the importance of IDAHOT and the highlights of this day as well as the contribution of equality bodies to the advancement of equality and non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

On 16 May 2017 the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published two country reports and four conclusions on the implementation of previous recommendations. In their publications, ECRI pays special attention to the need for independent equality bodies with sufficient resources and powers.

 

On 11 May 2017, the Council of the European Union adopted two decisions on the signing of the Council of Europe Convention (Istanbul Convention) on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Equinet warmly welcomes this decision.

 

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 29 March 2017, in the framework of the debate on the fight against anti-Gypsyism, the Congress for Local and Regional Authorities adopted a Declaration of Mayors and Elected Local and Regional Representatives of Council of Europe Member States against anti-Gypsyism. The declaration was presented by John Warmisham, Congress Spokesperson for Roma Issues, and Valeriu Nicolae, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (SRSG) for Roma Issues.