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ECRI Seminar brings together equality bodies to discuss Revision of General Policy Recommendation (GPR) No. 2

May 29th 2017

Twenty years after the adoption of the original version of GPR No. 2: Specialised bodies to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance at national level in 1997, ECRI decided to revise its text in order to include the experience and the many good practices that have developed during this time. The revised text shall help to further strengthen specialised bodies, which are vital for advancing equality and for eliminating racism and intolerance in a sustained manner.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe hosted a discussion on the revision of this GPR on 23-24 May in Strasbourg.

The seminar brought together representatives of member States’ independent authorities (equality bodies) expressly entrusted with the fight against racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); members of ECRI; representatives of national Ombudspersons and national human rights institutions.

Objectives

The seminar focused on the following topics:

  • Purpose and use of standards for equality bodies;
  • Institutional architecture for equality bodies;
  • Functions: (i) promotion and prevention, (ii) victim support and litigation and (iii) adjudication;
  • Functioning of equality bodies: effectiveness, independence, accessibility.

Discussions

Equinet board member and Deputy Ombudsperson, Croatia, Tena Šimonović Einwalter, is also the Chair of ECRI’s Working Group on the Revision of GPR No. 2. In this latter capacity, she presented the process of revising GPR No. 2, including an overview of and framework for GPR No. 2.

Evelyn Collins, Equinet Chair, presented Standards for equality bodies: The purpose and use of standards - what are the issues we seek to solve with standards?.

Other speakers from member equality bodies included:

Participants were keen to provide their input during the seminar, flowing from and developing further from their written reactions that were sent to ECRI ahead of the event.

Importance for Equinet

This work is highly relevant and we are pleased that it takes into account and follows the key themes and concerns of the Equinet working paper on the development of standards for equality bodies. The final version of the revised GPR will be of great importance for the future work of equality bodies and for developing strong and effective standards.

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