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Cooperation of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

December 19th 2017

Within the context of international bilateral cooperation, the idea of cooperation on a specific project surfaced in discussion with the Dutch Embassy in Slovenia. The cooperation project was carried out in October 2017, beginning with the visit of the delegation from the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, their peer review, and organisation of a public discussion on discrimination in the workplace based on gender and age in Ljubljana. The series of events concluded in December 2017 with the visit of a delegation of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality from Slovenia to Utrecht. The delegation partook in an education and presentation event of the Dutch equality body and visited one of the Dutch non-governmental organisation, dedicated to fighting discrimination.

Visit of the Dutch representatives from the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights and peer review of Slovenian equality body / October 2017

In October, the delegation from the Dutch equality body visited the Advocate of the Principle of Equality with the purpose of carrying out a peer review and exchange of good practices. During the visit, the Advocate hosted the two Dutch representatives on his new premises and explained to them the issues and challenges facing him in the effort of building a new institution, formally founded in 2016 with the Protection Against Discrimination Act. The Dutch experts contributed to the development of the Slovenian institution with valuable experience and recommendations, besides taking part in a public discussion on discrimination in the workplace.

The latter was organised by the Advocate in cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch Commissioner for the Principle of Equality, Dr. Carina van Eck also participated as a speaker at the public discussion, with other participants being Dr. Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr. Nejc Brezovar, State Secretary from the Ministry of Public Administration, Dé Louis Hurwit, founder and CEO of Intersocks d.o.o., and Barbara Zupančič, Head of the Diversity Charter project.

Equality at Work Discussion, Slovenia  (Click to enlarge picture)

Visit of the representatives of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality at the Netherland Institute for Human Rights and the visit of non-governmental organisation Art 1 (Central Netherlands) regarding the prevention of discrimination / December 2017

On 5 December 2017, the representatives of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality were in Utrecht, where they visited the Dutch equality body – The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. The programme, presented by the employees of the Institute, founded in 1994, was comprehensive and practical. The Advocate began the visit with a brief introduction to the functioning of the Slovenian equality body and presentation of some questions and issues facing him in his task of building an independent institution. Their Dutch colleagues presented the work of their Institute from several perspectives: the functioning of the front office, help and assistance to victims of discrimination, the procedure of hearing of relevant parties in cases of discrimination. These points illustrated the interwoven nature of their work, comprising law, PR, external policy, policy management, handling of individual cases, the influence in judicial proceedings, etc. The visitors were familiarised with the jurisdiction, competences and procedures of the Institute when discrimination or human rights violation is reported. The Slovenian delegation also observed a hearing in a case of discrimination procedure and visited the Institute’s front office, tasked with reception of reports, communication with the parties and offering assistance and information to the citizens. The PR and its relevance for awareness-raising and preventive work was specifically emphasised, together with the education, soft approaches, enhancing systemic rules, pointing out systemic discrimination in the framework of traditional and historical conception of specific areas of an individual’s life (e. g. Black Pete, Zwarte Piet).

Written by David Kovic at the Advocate of the Principle of Equality