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Equinet Seminar: Fighting discrimination on grounds of race and ethnic origin

October 6th 2016

Equinet, together with the Hungarian Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, organised a one and a half day capacity-building seminar for equality bodies’ staff members about fighting discrimination based on the grounds of race and ethnic origin. The meeting took place in Budapest on 9-10 November 2016.

Background

Discrimination on the basis of one’s race and ethnic origin remains one of the most often experienced form of inequality and one that features prominently in the work of equality bodies. In many European countries racial and ethnic minorities, and in particular Roma people, remain the most disadvantaged and persecuted group in society.

In a context where public sentiment is often hostile towards racial and ethnic minorities and institutional discrimination and the under-reporting of incidents are common, the challenges around managing the refugee crisis and ensuring the inclusion of migrants also risk to render the public discourse more hostile and discrimination more widely accepted.

Equinet and its members have done a lot of work on this topic in recent years, most recently with a paper from the Working Group on Equality law. This discusses the key legal issues and challenges, and the available tools and good practices in tackling discrimination on the ground of race and ethnic origin, which were the basis of the discussions during the Seminar.

Objectives

The Seminar aimed to:

  • Build capacity among Equinet members to combat discrimination on the ground of race and ethnic origin, including a focus on discrimination against Roma people
  • Offer a platform to discuss good practices and promising tools
  • Discuss issues of multiple discrimination where race and ethnic origin intersect with other grounds such as gender, religion or belief

  (Click to enlarge picture)

Speakers’ Presentations

OPENING SESSION - WELCOME

  • László Székely, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Hungary
  • Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities, Hungary
  • Evelyn Collins, Equinet Chair

SESSION 1 - Context and Challenges

Chair: Evelyn Collins, Chair of the Equinet Executive Board and Chief Executive of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

WORKSHOP 1 - Context and challenges through case law identified by equality bodies

  • Education - Adél Lukovics, Equal Treatment Authority, Hungary
  • Media - Imane El Morabet, Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, Belgium
  • Employment - Tamas Kadar, Equinet Secretariat
  • Housing - Edina Tordai, Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Hungary

WORKSHOP 2 - Case studies on discrimination against Roma

  • Education - Michel Verschraegen, European Commission
  • ECtHR case law, including hate crime and hate speech - Oana-Luiza Taba, European Court of Human Rights
  • Multiple discrimination and gender issues - Lidia Balogh, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences Institute for Legal Studies
  • Housing - Tatjana Perić, OSCE ODIHR

SESSION 2 - Responding to discrimination against Roma

Chair: Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities, Hungary

  • Education - Michel Verschraegen, European Commission
  • ECtHR case law, including hate crime and hate speech - Oana-Luiza Taba, European Court of Human Rights
  • Multiple discrimination and gender issues - Lidia Balogh, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences Institute for Legal Studies
  • Housing - Tatjana Perić, OSCE ODIHR

SESSION 3 - Good practices to combat discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin

Chair: Veronika Bazalová, Office of the Public Defender of Rights, Czech Republic

WORKSHOP 3 - Discussing good practices and identifying needs

  • Strategic litigation - Lilla Farkas, European University Institute, Italy
  • Awareness raising and education - Laszlo Milutinovits, European Youth Centre Budapest, Hungary
  • NGO Cooperation and Roma empowerment - Mariana Berbec, Open Society Foundation, Hungary
  • Training - Barbara Bos, Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, Netherlands

CONCLUDING SESSION

  • Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities, Hungary
  • Anne Gaspard, Equinet Executive Director

Agenda

Final agenda
Final agenda


Reimbursement Form

Reimbursement Form
Reimbursement Form


Photos

Equality Bodies fighting discrimination based on race and ethnic origin – Budapest, Nov. 2016