Members’ section
Sign in
Personal identifiers

Equinet - European network of equality bodies

Home >> Equinet Activities >> Events >> Equinet Events 2018

Equinet Events 2018

January 11th 2018

Equinet has a busy year ahead! Here is a list of the main events that we’ll be organising this year.

Further highlights of the main Equinet activities, as based on the 2018 Work Plan, can be found below.


  (Click to enlarge picture)

Providing and facilitating peer support and sharing expertise for the staff of equality bodies are key factors in effective capacity building, which is a constant priority for Equinet.


Seminars explore key issues and developments in the field of equality and non-discrimination at national and European levels with a view to support staff members of equality bodies to learn about, engage with, and develop expertise in these issues and developments. Seminars provide important opportunities for exchanges and networking between equality bodies and for peer learning and support between equality bodies.

Seminars are open to staff members of equality bodies responsible for or working on areas related to the seminar topic.

  • Tackling age discrimination - focus on young people (date tbc)
Equality Bodies combating discrimination against and promoting equality for young people (2016)
Equality Bodies combating discrimination against and promoting equality for young people (2016)

As a follow up of the 2016 Perspective Equality Bodies combating discrimination against young people, Equinet will organise a capacity-building seminar in cooperation with the European Youth Forum for staff members of equality bodies and representatives of youth organisations. The seminar will focus on equality for and age discrimination against young people and aims to identify ways forward for a strengthened cooperation between equality bodies and youth organisations, as recommended by the 2016 Equinet Perspective.

  • How to combat hate speech as an equality body (date in September tbc)

Hate speech is a growing phenomenon, and while some equality bodies have a legal mandate to take on cases against hate speech, others use different methods to try to tackle the problem and prevent hate speech from developing. This seminar will aim to understand what the issues are for equality bodies and provide practical solutions from a legal, policy and communication perspective.

The seminar will inter alia analyse sexist and racist hate speech and will seek to consider the role of intersectionality in vulnerability and its implications for combating hate speech. Thanks to the support of the US Mission to the EU, we hope to invite a US expert working on the phenomenon of hate speech in the US.

  • Work-Life Balance and Dismissal Protection (date in October tbc)

The European Commission seeks to address pregnancy and motherhood related discrimination on the labour market with a specific focus on dismissal protection, including the periods surrounding pregnancy and maternity leave. This seminar will be organized in close cooperation with the Commission, and draw on the needs and experiences of national equality bodies in order to better support persons experiencing discriminatory dismissal in cooperation with stakeholders such as labour inspectorates. The seminar would seek to consider intersectionality in the lived experience of discrimination.

Training Sessions

Training events for staff of equality bodies will provide participants with the opportunities to immerse themselves in a particular topic in a manner that develops and deepens specific skills and expertise. Participants are nominated by Equinet member organisations on the basis of their responsibilities or interests in the topic addressed by the training events.

  • Engagement of the article 33(2) Independent Monitoring Mechanisms with the UNCRPD Committee (date tbc)

Article 33(2) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities foresees the designation of “a framework, including one or more independent mechanisms (…) to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the (…) Convention”. Overall, 32 equality bodies and NHRIs were designated independent mechanism to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the CRPD under the article 33(2) in 29 countries. In order to ensure effective engagement with the CRPD Committee as a key for better implementation of the Convention at national level, Equinet will partner with ENNHRI (European Network of Human Rights Institutions) to organise a joint training event for equality bodies and NHRIs on engaging with the UNCRPD Committee.


  (Click to enlarge picture)

Equality bodies are on the front line in the work of promoting equality and combating discrimination across Europe. They have developed practical experience, learning and expertise in their implementation of equal treatment legislation in their country. As per the Equal Treatment Directives, they are empowered to contribute to policy formation at national level by making recommendations on the basis of their work. At a European level, the combined and diverse learning from the work of the various equality bodies has a valuable contribution to make to policies and work promoting equality and combating discrimination, as well as to the mainstreaming of non-discrimination and equality in all policy areas.


Conferences explore key issues and developments in the field of equal treatment at national and European levels. These high-level events provide opportunities for exchanges between equality bodies, EU institutions and other stakeholders. They raise the profile of Equinet and national equality bodies as expert institutions in the field of equal treatment.

Conferences are open to senior staff and experts of equality bodies and to representatives from European organisations and external stakeholders.

  • Investing in Equality: a decade of change for equality bodies (date in April, tbc)

In 2018, the 15th anniversary of the deadline for implementing the Racial Equality and Employment Framework Directives, and the 10th anniversary of the European Commission’s proposal of the so-called Horizontal Directive provide a good opportunity to review the achievements, the current progress and the remaining gaps and challenges.

Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions (EN)
Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions (EN)

Importantly, these Directives also introduced the requirement for all EU Member States and candidate countries to set up equality bodies. As they are part and parcel of the national equality infrastructure, their condition is a good indicator of the situation of and commitment to equality. In 2017 Equinet marked its tenth anniversary by commissioning a study on the evolution of the mandates and resources of equality bodies over the past decade. The findings of this study will inform the conference discussions, together with the Equinet Working Paper on Developing Standards for Equality Bodies and perspectives on links between equality bodies, NHRIs and ombud institutions (Perspective on links between equality bodies and Ombud institutions due for release in coming weeks).

  • Discrimination and Poverty: two sides of the (Euro) coin (date tbc)

Equinet’s earlier work on ‘Addressing Poverty and Discrimination: Two Sides of the One Coin’ and ‘Equality Bodies Contributing to the Protection, Respect and Fulfilment of Economic and Social Rights’ demonstrates, based on the experiences of equality bodies, the inextricable link between discrimination and poverty. Poverty leads to discrimination and discrimination exacerbates the experience of poverty. This conference will analyse these links and explore the experiences with socio-economic status as a discrimination ground, introduced by a growing number of countries. The programme will focus on the specific vulnerability of women and societal groups based on for example their ethnic origin or disability.

EN - Addressing Poverty and Discrimination: Two Sides of the One Coin (PDF, 378 KB)
EN - Addressing Poverty and Discrimination: Two Sides of the One Coin (PDF, 378 KB)
Contributing to the protection, respect and fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights (2015)
Contributing to the protection, respect and fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights (2015)


Staff members of equality bodies will continue to meet within their working groups on communication strategies and practies, equality law, gender equality and policy formation throughout the year.

They will also meet within the contexts of our Clusters on Freedom of Movement and Research and Data Collection, and our Project on Combating Violence Against Women and Gender Based Violence.

Equinet, together with member equality bodies will continue to participate in the thematic platforms that have been set up together with the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The topics covered by each platform are: