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Advancing Equality: The Potential of Equality Duties

March 28th 2017

Equinet Conference

Date: 4 May 2017
Location: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, Brussels, Belgium

This conference sets out to share the experiences of implementing equality duties, as well as good practice examples and discuss possibilities and challenges in introducing such duties in other jurisdictions.


In 2016, Equinet commissioned research assessing the prevalence and state of play of equality duties in Europe. The study Making Europe More Equal: A Legal Duty? concludes that there are mainly three categories of statutory duties in place in Europe today; preventive, institutional and mainstreaming duties.

The Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe has suggested that statutory equality duties form part of “a new generation of [equality] legislation […] beginning to emerge in response to limitations experienced in the implementation of current and previous provisions.” Each of the statutory duties identified in the study has its own design and significant achievements in progressing both institutional and societal change.

Nevertheless, the study highlights that “[t]here is an uneven spread and development of these statutory duties. Their geographical spread is significant but not comprehensive. Their ambition differs in different jurisdictions. A broad diversity of approaches in devising and implementing statutory duties is evident.”

Equinet is therefore committed to exploring the potential and current context for such duties, and is therefore is organizing a conference to discuss the contribution of statutory equality duties to advancing equality, looking at what is in place across Europe and how the learning from this can be used to contribute to institutional and societal change.


The conference aims to:

  • Provide a platform to discuss the experiences obtained in implementing equality duties
  • Present the conclusions of the 2016 Equinet research “Making Europe More Equal: A Legal Duty?”
  • Promote equality duties as an effective tool to advance equality in all jurisdictions


Final Agenda
Final Agenda

Target Audience

This Equinet conference is aimed at senior experts from national equality bodies, as well as from EU and international institutions and agencies, representatives from NGOs, national ministries, NHRIs and Ombudsman institutions, policy and legal experts, social partners and other organisations active in the field of equality.


Registration is now closed.

Equinet can only cover the costs of travel and accommodation for one staff member per member organisation. A second person registering from the same organisation will be put on a waiting list and seats remaining after the deadline will be allocated to people on the list based on a first come first served basis.

Practical information for Equinet members and conference speakers

Equinet will organise your travel and accommodation. On this occasion, we will book 1 single room for 1 night on 3rd May unless otherwise required due to your travel schedule.

Regarding flights: We have commissioned the Belgian Air Travel agency to assist us with bookings. Participants who need a flight or an international train to get to the event location are requested to contact the agency and communicate the following information:

  • Full name as it appears on your travel documents
  • Travel document type, number and expiry date
  • Date of birth
  • Airport of departure
  • Preferred time of the day for departure
  • Cabin bag or hold luggage

We remind you that it is not allowed to book flights for stays longer than what is necessary to attend the full event.

The information should be sent by email to:

They will return to you as soon as possible with the most suitable offer.

Please note that particiants are required to keep the original boarding passes used for traveling and mail them back to the Equinet office with your expense claim. Failure to provide original boarding passes will result in your expense claim being rejected.

Even if you did not incur any expense, you are still required to mail back the boarding passes used for traveling. Failure to do so will result in Equinet refusing to book any new flight ticket for you.

Further Reading

Making Europe more Equal: A Legal Duty? (2016)
Making Europe more Equal: A Legal Duty? (2016)