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This Storify article gathers information on our work done around developing standards for equality bodies.


Equinet Events 2017

January 2nd 2017

Equinet turns 10 this year! This will be cause for celebration and reflection throughout the year, especially at our anniversary conference and accompanying celebrations, due to be held in October.

Further highlights of the main Equinet activities, as based on the 2017 Work Plan, can be found below.


Equinet Chair Evelyn Collins recently participated in the General Assembly of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and spoke about the need for standards for equality bodies, as well as the discriminatory impact of counter terrorism measures in Europe.

It was a great opportunity to meet with some of our members, which due to their mandate are not only Equality Bodies, but also National Human Rights Institutions.


Equinet is running a call for proposals in order to identify the best candidate to carry out its external evaluation for 2016.

Deadline 21 November 2016 (9:00 a.m.)


Following the recent focus on the important work of journalists to promote equality and diversity, Equinet is deeply concerned to hear that one of the winners of the European Journalism Award on Diversity has received hateful and threatening posts on social media.

We condemn all forms of online hate speech, and do not tolerate trolls who threaten the work of journalists in general.



Equality Bodies

According to a ruling by the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal, assisted reproductive treatment may not be denied in public health care based on the sexual orientation of the client. The ruling shows that existing legal protections provide access to rights. It also ensures that the recommendation issued earlier by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will be followed from now on, says the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman Kirsi Pimiä. The Tribunal imposed a conditional fine of 30 000 euro on each of the medical directors of university hospitals to enforce compliance with its injunction.


On 8 November, the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania enacted the amendment of the Law on Equal Treatment that introduces the highest standards of independence for the equality body in Lithuania. Amendments were initiated by the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson and will come into force from 1 January 2017.

From 2017, the full name of the position will be the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson of the Republic of Lithuania. The main changes include competence requirement for the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson and clearly regulated hitherto unregulated Ombudsperson’s impartiality and independence.


The Centre for Equal Treatment (CET) organised a celebratory seminar to celebrate 10 years of equal treatment legislation in Luxembourg on 28 November 2016.

Equinet was honoured to participate and be invited to contribute to this event.


The Serbian Commissioner for the protection of Equality organizes “The First Regional Forum of South-east Europe Equality Bodies“ on the occasion of the International Tolerance Day (Belgrade, 16 November 2016, 11:00 -13:00).


On the 9th and the 10th of November 2016 the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is hosting a seminar organised by Equinet, focusing on the fight against discrimination on grounds of race and ethnic origin.




ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national/ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.


On the 26th of August 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted two general comments relating to the rights of women and girls with disabilities under Article 6 and the right to inclusive education for persons with disabilities under Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


The "HELP in the 28" Programme organised an European Seminar on the "Fight against racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia", in collaboration with the Spanish School for the Judiciary in Barcelona on 26 and 27 July.


At the June meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Counci, the progress report of the Equal Treatment Directive, as well as conclusions on gender and LGBTI equality were discussed.


The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has published conclusions on the implementation of a number of recommendations made in its country reports on Finland, the Republic of Moldova, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Russian Federation and San Marino which had been released in 2013.