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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.

 

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.

 

 

Equality Bodies

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.

 

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.

 

 

Europe

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.

 

Sixty years ago in Rome, the foundations were laid for the Europe that we know today, ushering in the longest period of peace in written history in Europe. The Treaties of Rome established a common market where people, goods, services and capital can move freely and created the conditions for prosperity and stability for European citizens.

 

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.