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Equality Bodies

Ahead of European Parliament elections in 2019, as well as continuous elections happening at local, regional and national level around Europe, Equinet has developed a Recommendation to be considered by political parties, candidates and media outlets (including social media) which focuses on the general principle of equality, prohibition of discrimination, tackling hate speech, addressing sensitive topics and promoting equal representation on electoral lists.

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On 25 April, the Ombudsman, together with the House of Human Rights, organised a conference to celebrate ten years of application of the Anti-Discrimination Act in Croatia. The conference brought together local communities and civil society organisations, as well as all the Ombuds institutions in Croatia.

 

The Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey organised an international conference on combating discrimination in working life on 17 April in Ankara. Patrick Charlier, Equinet Board member and Co-Director of the Belgian equality body Unia, presented the work on this topic at national and European level.

 

The Czech Public Defender of Rights published its annual report for the year 2018. Although the number of complaints received have slightly dropped in the last year, many challenges remain particularly in regard to age discrimination. The Czech equality body thus chose discrimination on the ground of age as its "Topic of the Year" to raise awareness on the issue. The report also details its legal support and promotion work to advance a more equal society.

 

This Factsheet & Compendium of Promising Practices highlight the necessity to end ethnic profiling by law enforcement in Europe and the essential role of equality bodies in combatting this ineffective practice and promoting fair policing.

 

The Defender of Rights Annual Report for 2018 was presented by Jacques Toubon on 11 March. It meticulously analyses the work of the French equality body in its promotion of equality and its support to victims of discrimination. An increase in victim’s complaints can be observed, it reflects the deepening inequalities and regressing fundamental rights that alarmingly affects French society.

 

In response to a public consultation on the establishment of an electoral commission in Ireland, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) calls on the Government to expedite the establishment of an electoral commission. It also comments on its potential mandate with regards to standards in political discourse, the right to participate in public, regulation of online political advertising, and advancing the equal participation of all groups.

 

Equality data is defined as any piece of information that is useful for the purposes of describing and analysing the state of equality. Across the EU, many Member States are improving their equality data to help policymakers combat discrimination and challenge prejudices. With the support of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Subgroup on Equality Data developed an online compendium of nearly 40 practices from 15 countries on the collection and use of equality data. The compendium illustrates how the 11 guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data can be put into practice.

 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals it encompasses reflect an important and ambitious global policy framework for human development. This agenda is to be pursued throughout the period up to 2030 by all national jurisdictions.

Equality and non-discrimination are deeply embedded within this policy framework and its pledge to leave no one behind. Its concern for people involves a determination to “ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment”. Its vision is rooted in “a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination".

 

On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, marked by the UN General Assembly on 21 March each year, countries around the world are urged to step up their efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, remembering the day when the police in South Africa killed 69 people protesting against racial segregation of the population.

 

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