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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.

 

Equinet in 2019

January 2nd 2019

2019 is a milestone year for Equinet as our European Network of Equality Bodies embarks on the first year of its new Strategic Plan for the period 2019 - 2022. Building upon our achievements and learnings from previous years, we start with renewed motivation and energy to work towards the realisation of the objectives under the new Strategic Plan, to advance and achieve substantive equality for all in Europe.

 

There have been a range of important events taking place at in Brussels over the past few weeks, focusing on democracy in the EU, being black in Europe, legal developments at EU level and tackling discrimination against Muslims in the EU. Equinet was there, representing the expert voice of equality bodies to advance equality in Europe.

 

On 1 October 2018, the International Day of Older Persons, a 70 day-campaign on Ageing was launched by AGE Platform Europe together with the support of partner organisations. Equinet contributed to the campaign by writing an article authored by Tamás Kádár, our Head of Legal and Policy team, focusing on intergenerational solidarity and how ageism is experienced by both young and old people.

 

Equinet and member equality bodies participated in the Fundamental Rights Agency’s bi-annual Fundamental Rights Forum (FRF) in Vienna from 25-27 September 2018. The FRF is a unique space for dialogue on the pressing human rights challenges in the EU, and offers an opportunity to engage in new conversations and shape critical human rights agendas.

 

 

Equality Bodies

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.

 

Equinet joins the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s Rapporteur on Ombudsman institutions and the European Network of NHRIs (ENNHRI) and the Global Alliance of NHRIs in expressing concern and calling for guaranteeing the independence of the Polish equality body, the Commissioner for Human Rights.

 

In 2018 Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia monitored all six hospitals in Latvia, where in-patient psychiatric treatment of children is provided. During these monitoring visits Ombudsman examined treatment and other conditions of children in these hospitals.

 

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Office of the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights (Ombudsman) of Cyprus organised an awareness campaign entitled “The Protection of Human Rights 70 years later”.

 

On 5 December 2018, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) published the results of a survey on inadmissible questions at job interviews. The survey investigates the extent to which applicants are sensitised to the inadmissibility of questions regarding the characteristics protected under the General Act on Equal Treatment in job interviews, and whether they had ever faced such questions in the past. In addition, attitudes towards anonymised job application procedures were surveyed.

 

 

Europe

EIGE, the European Institute for Gender Equality based in Vilnius, Lithuania, has been recently involved, as a third party, in a legal action initiated by five former interim workers (temporary staff).

The former temporary staffers were challenging their working conditions with their employer, the temporary staffing agency from whom EIGE procures interim staffing services.

 

25 November 2018 was the International Day to End Violence against Women. Ahead of this day, numerous statements, initiatives and campaigns were launched by European institutions and organistions as well as civil society organisations. To emphasize the work of equality bodies on this particular topic, Equinet launched a social media campaign which will be ungoing during the international ’’16 Days of Activism’’ campaign, starting on 25 November. Different posts will highlight good practices on combating violence against women from various equality bodies. Find more information about the Equinet campaign here.

 

In 2018, the European Commission will be marking the European Equal Pay Day again on 3 November. The European Commission marks this day to draw attention to the gender pay gap, and its underlying causes, including the ones linked to work-life balance.

On 26 October 2018, to highlight the importance of the Equal Pay day, the European Commission launched useful data, and a statement made by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, and Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.

 

The European Parliament is concerned by the increasing normalisation of fascism, racism and xenophobia and calls on EU member states to ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups.

In a resolution passed with 355 votes to 90 and 39 abstentions, MEPs denounce that the lack of serious action against these groups has enabled the current xenophobic surge in Europe.

 

On 2 October 2018, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) presented two new monitoring reports on the Republic of Moldova and Portugal. In both reports, ECRI analyse recent developments and outstanding issues and provide recommendations to the respective authorities.