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A high level event "Beyond jargon: reframing our communication on human rights" was organised on 6 March 2018 on the margins of the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Organised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, EU Fundamental Rights Agency, ENNHRI and GANHRI, the objective was to discuss what can be done to make human rights popular again and to reclaim the debate in times of increasing populism and scepticism.

 

The European Commission published in December 2015 the List of Actions to Advance LGBTI Equality to move LGBTI equality forward. The Council adopted the first ever conclusions on LGBTI equality in June 2016 requiring the Commission to annually report on the implementation of the list of actions.

This report is the second of these annual reports, identifying the European Commission’s advances in this area.

 

Since 2013, there has been an enhanced focus on gender equality in Equinet’s work following the incorporation of the work of the former Network of Gender Equality Bodies (previously led and facilitated by the European Commission).
As laid out in the Gender Equal Treatment Directives, equality bodies are mandated to promote equality and combat discrimination in relation to gender.

 

To better protect people exposed to discrimination, states should step up the efficiency, independence and impact of equality bodies, says the Council of Europe’s anti-racism Commission in a new set of recommendations to the European governments published today.

Equinet warmly welcomes these recommendations to strengthen the independence, effectiveness, functions and powers of equality bodies which will result in more equal societies for all.

 

On 5 February 2018, Transgender Europe launched their latest report: "Oppression Squared: D/deaf and disabled trans experience in Europe" during a webinar, highlighting the various challenges that D/deaf and disabled trans people face in accessing their human rights and the barriers they experience in attempting to engage with LGBTIQ organizations. In this regard, the report presents a valuable source for organizations, including equality bodies, in ensuring accessibility and inclusiveness of their work for human rights, equality and non-discrimination.

 

IGLYO – The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex (LGBTQI) Youth and Student Organisation launched the preliminary results of their LGBTQI Inclusive Education Index and Report at the European Parliament on 23 January 2018. The publications provide much needed qualitative data on areas such as laws, policies, teacher training, inclusive curricula to highlight both good practices and areas for development in each country and ensure that LGBTQI learners feel safe, supported and included within state educational institutions.

 

According to the United Nations, globally, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In line with equality between women and men being one of the European Union’s founding values, the EU has identified combating against violence against women and girls, including ending Female Genital Mutilation, as one of its priorities in the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 & Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019. Equinet, as a key partner of the European Commission, has a special role in promoting a uniform application of EU law in the field of non-discrimination and equal treatment of women and men, and many of its member national equality bodies have a mandate to work on gender equality at national level.

 

The preliminary findings resulting from the public consultation on the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 has been published. The consultation ran from 19 July 2017 to 25 October 2017 and gathered 240 replies. The summary report takes stock of the contributions received and gives an overview of the opinions expressed by the respondents.

 

In many parts of the EU, civil society is under threat, finds a new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Given the vital role civil society plays in upholding democratic processes and in promoting human rights, decision makers need to ensure the important work of civil society is not undermined through policy and legal changes and funding cuts.

 

This paper – published by the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Council of Europe – addresses the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women in Europe. Despite considerable progress made in Europe in that direction, pervasive gender inequalities continue to affect women in Europe in all areas of life and often have profound effects on their sexual and reproductive rights. Laws, policies and practices in Europe still curtail and undermine women’s sexual and reproductive health, autonomy, dignity, integrity and decision making in serious ways. Moreover in recent years, resurgent threats have emerged in this field jeopardizing longstanding commitments to gender equality and women’s rights.

 

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