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Thematic Platforms for Cooperation

CoE-FRA-Equinet-ENNHRI Thematic Platforms for Cooperation

The establishment of the cooperation platforms is the result of the joint conference of the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet), the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which took place in October 2013 in Vienna. The conference set the scene for closer cooperation among national bodies and between national and international bodies. It was agreed to establish platforms for collaboration on pressing topics such as asylum and migration, Roma integration, combating hate crime, and advancing social and economic rights and socio-economic equality.

More information on the conference can be found on the page ‘Strengthening fundamental rights protection together in a changing human rights landscape‘ (Vienna, 7-8 October 2013). See also the joint statement by CoE, FRA, Equinet and ENNHRI on the establishment of the four Platforms.

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Thematic Platforms for Cooperation

CoE-FRA-Equinet-ENNHRI Platform on advancing social and economic rights and socio-economic equality

Background

The cooperation platform has been working since its launch on 15 October 2015 in Strasbourg, bringing equality bodies and human rights institutions together with experts from the Council of Europe and the Fundamental Rights Agency in the field of social and economic rights. The platform was launched in the wake of the financial crisis and seeks to set the spotlight on the severe pressure on social and economic rights.
In its work, the platform seeks to strengthen the monitoring functions and capacities of equality bodies and human rights institutions, as well as build capacity on their use of the European Social Charter and other Council of Europe instruments. The platform promotes information exchange and seeks to keep members up to date on recent developments, as well as promote debate on new knowledge and research generated in the field.
The platform feeds into the Turin process whereby the Council of Europe and European Union acquis are brought closer together. Members of the platform seek to inform policy development in the field of social and economic rights through information exchange on the newest policy developments at European and national levels, such as through country visits and consultations on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Focus Areas

  • Domestic litigation for economic and social rights
  • Monitoring the respect, promotion and fulfilment of social and economic rights
  • Collective Complaints Mechanism of the European Social Charter
  • Discrimination in the enjoyment of economic and social rights

Equality Bodies contributing to the protection, respect and fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights

Equinet has produced a Perspective entitled Equality Bodies contributing to the protection, respect and fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights which aims to:

  • Explore the specific nature of the contribution that can be made by equality bodies to protecting and fulfilling economic and social rights.
  • Establish the contribution being made by equality bodies to the enjoyment of economic and social rights without discrimination.
  • Identify how this contribution might be further reinforced.

It is based on a round table debate facilitated within the Policy Formation Working Group of Equinet, the presentation of good practice exemplars by equality bodies on their work in contributing to economic and social rights, and a survey of Equinet members with responses from twenty equality bodies.

This perspective is a contribution to the work of Equinet within the platform for economic and social rights.

Equality Bodies contributing to the protection, respect and fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights (2015)

Further Information

Coordinator: Council of Europe.
Further information, including meeting minutes and the schedule of next meetings are available on the Council of Europe website in English and French.

Equinet Contact: Katrine Steinfeld (katrine.steinfeld@equineteurope.org)

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Thematic Platforms for Cooperation

CoE-FRA-Equinet-ENNHRI Operational Platform for Roma Equality

Background

The first and second meeting of the Operational Platform on Roma Equality (OPRE) took place on 30 January 2015 and 3-4 December 2015 in Strasbourg, organised by the Council of Europe Special Representative on Roma.

Following the first meeting and the encouragement received there, Equinet applied for and was accepted as an observer in CAHROM, the CoE’s Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Roma Issues.

The last meeting of the Operational Platform for Roma Equality (OPRE) was held on 7th and 8th June in Athens, Greece. Following this, a joint statement on evictions of Roma people was released in June 2016.

Focus Areas

  • Addressing and combating Anti-Gypsyism and multiple discrimination against Roma
  • Raising awareness about HR/Equality Institutions and their reporting mechanisms, and facilitating access to justice for Roma
  • Improving National Roma Integration Policies and their Implementation (especially in the fields of education and housing)

Further Information

Coordinator: Council of Europe Special Representative on Roma

Equinet Contact: Tamás Kádár (tamas.kadar@equineteurope.org)

Meetings 2016: 7-8 June, Athens

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Thematic Platforms for Cooperation

CoE-FRA-Equinet-ENNHRI Platform on Hate Crime

Background

The aims of the Platform on hate crime are to address gaps in combating hate crime, to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of hate crime and to contribute to improvement of recording and reporting of hate crime. The Platform will aim to enhance coordination, cooperation and exchange of information between national level institutions and European level institutions and structures, as well as to facilitate the cooperation between national level institutions.

The last meeting took place in Amsterdam on 29 April 2016, wherein it was decided to continue the cooperation among Platform members mostly based on information exchange (Newsletters, emails etc).

Focus Areas

  • Hate crime reporting
  • Hate speech
  • Victim support
  • Preventing hate crime

Further Information

Coordinator: European Union Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Equinet Contact: Sarah Cooke O’Dowd (sarah.cookeodowd@equineteurope.org)

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Thematic Platforms for Cooperation

CoE-FRA-Equinet-ENNHRI Platform on rights of migrants and asylum-seekers

Background

Asylum and migration issues pose some of the most pressing and serious human rights challenges in Europe today. The aim of the Platform members – national bodies and European institutions and networks – is to devise ways in which to work together more closely to attain concrete results for migrants in need.

The general aim of the thematic platform cooperation is to enhance coordination, cooperation and exchange of information between national level institutions and European level institutions and structures, as well as to facilitate the cooperation between national level institutions.

Focus Areas

  • Monitoring of forced returns
  • Conditions of detention and alternatives to detention
  • Unaccompanied and separated migrant children
  • Discrimination of migrants

Further Information

Coordinator: European Union Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA)
Equinet contact: Jessica Machacova, Project Officer,jessica.machacova@equineteurope.org



Meetings 2016: The last meeting of this platform was held in Vienna, on 15-16 February 2016.

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Members' Publications

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission launch Strategy Statement 2016 – 2018

The Commission’s first Strategy Statement covers the period 2016 – 2018 and sets out the strategic goals to guide the IHREC’s work over the next three years. The purpose of this strategy is to contribute to an inclusive Ireland where human rights and equality are respected, protected and fulfilled for everyone, everywhere.

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Members' Publications

Gold Indicators: Measuring the Implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD)

Measuring 10 key thematic areas to improve the situation of persons with disabilities: Danish Institute for Human Rights’ new Gold Indicators make it possible to measure and monitor Denmark’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities (CRPD).

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Spotlight on Equality Bodies 2015

Spotlight on Equality Bodies 2015/4

The fourth edition for 2015, released in December, highlights the work of the following equality bodies:

  • Serbia: Commission for the Protection of Equality
  • Great Britain: Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Croatia: Office of the Ombudsman
  • Belgium: Institute for the Equality of Women and Men
  • Belgium: Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities
  • Poland: Commissioner for Human Rights

It highlights the Media Library entries from:

  • Germany: Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency

It also gives links to publications of the following members:

  • Germany: Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency
  • Czech Republic: Office of the Public Defender of Rights

Read the Spotlight here.

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Spotlight on Equality Bodies 2015

Spotlight on Equality Bodies 2015/3

The third edition for 2015, released in October, gives an overview of:

  • The Equinet New Executive Board 2015-2017 (elected by the Equinet members at the 2015 AGM)
  • The three new Equinet members (approved by the Equinet members at the 2015 AGM)
  • The recent leadership appointments

It highlights the work of the following equality bodies:

  • Austria: Ombud for Equal Treatment
  • Belgium: Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities
  • France: Defender of Rights
  • Germany: Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA)
  • Greece: Greek Ombudsman
  • Norway: Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud

It highlights the Media Library entries from:

  • Austria: Anti-Discrimination Campaign
  • Malta: Equality Mark Certification
  • Malta: Here We Are

It also gives links to publications of the following members:

  • Czech Republic: Public Defender of Rights
  • Luxembourg: Centre for Equal Treatment
  • Northern Ireland: Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

Read the Spotlight here.

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Newsbook

Equinet Newsbook December 2015

Latest Equinet and EU news

The December Newsbook is available here.