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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.

 

On the eve of the 10 year anniversary conference of the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), Equinet and ENNHRI were invited to Vienna to discuss their strategic cooperation with the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency and the heads of relevant departments.

 

On 28 February 2017, a bill aiming to repeal Romanian Anti-discrimination Law was tacitly adopted by the Romanian Chamber of Deputies. The law is now pending to be voted upon in the Senate, where it is hoped that they will quash the bill.

If this bill were adopted, it would seriously affect the National Council for Combatting Discrimination (CNCD), emptying its mandate linked to the Anti-discrimination Law, thus undermining the role and functioning of the national equality body.

* Update: On 14 March, the Romanian Parliament voted not to accept this draft law. Thus the equality body will not be disabled.

 

Equinet is commissioning a research paper on the evolution of the mandates and resources of equality bodies over the past decade. The planned research will aim to elucidate how the mandates and resources of national equality bodies have developed, and if there can be found possible correlative relationships between them.

Submission deadline: 2 May 2017 (09:00 AM)

 

 

Equality Bodies

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.

 

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.

 

 

Europe

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an annual reminder to us all to do more to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, hate speech and hate crimes, said the Commissioner, and highlighted how equality bodies and national human rights institutions play an important role in combating such discrimination. The Commissioner also underlined the importance of data collection on hate crimes to understand causes, and design and implement targeted action to bring about real change.

 

The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) published its long awaited judgements in two similar requests for preliminary rulings concerning the wearing of Muslim headscarves in the work place.

 

The European Union stands by women in Europe and around the globe today, as it did at the time of its foundation.

 

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.

 

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks recently published a Human Rights Comment on registered same-sex partnerships. "The trend toward legal recognition of same-sex couples is responding to the daily reality and needs of relationships that have gone unrecognised for a very long time. Our societies are made up of a rich diversity of individuals, relationships and families. It’s time we see this as an asset." says Commissioner Muižnieks.