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Home >> Equinet Activities >> Events >> Equinet Events 2018

Equinet Events 2018

September 10th 2018

Equinet has a busy year ahead! Here is a list of the main events that we’ll be organising this year.

Further highlights of the main Equinet activities, as based on the 2018 Work Plan, can be found below.


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Providing and facilitating peer support and sharing expertise for the staff of equality bodies are key factors in effective capacity building, which is a constant priority for Equinet.


Seminars explore key issues and developments in the field of equality and non-discrimination at national and European levels with a view to support staff members of equality bodies to learn about, engage with, and develop expertise in these issues and developments. Seminars provide important opportunities for exchanges and networking between equality bodies and for peer learning and support between equality bodies.

Seminars are open to staff members of equality bodies responsible for or working on areas related to the seminar topic.

Equality Bodies combating discrimination against and promoting equality for young people (2016)
Equality Bodies combating discrimination against and promoting equality for young people (2016)

As a follow up of the 2016 Perspective Equality Bodies combating discrimination against young people, Equinet will organise a capacity-building seminar in cooperation with the European Youth Forum for staff members of equality bodies and representatives of youth organisations. The seminar will focus on equality for and age discrimination against young people and aims to identify ways forward for a strengthened cooperation between equality bodies and youth organisations, as recommended by the 2016 Equinet Perspective.

The European Commission seeks to address pregnancy and motherhood related discrimination on the labour market with a specific focus on dismissal protection, including the periods surrounding pregnancy and maternity leave. This seminar will be organized in close cooperation with the Commission, and draw on the needs and experiences of national equality bodies in order to better support persons experiencing discriminatory dismissal in cooperation with stakeholders such as labour inspectorates. The seminar would seek to consider intersectionality in the lived experience of discrimination.

This one-and-a-half-day seminar is co-organized with the Open Society Justice Initiative to bring together national equality bodies and selected expert speakers to discuss equality bodies’ role in countering ethnic profiling. The seminar aims to discuss equality bodies’ role in supporting legal challenges to ethnic profiling, engaging with civil society and promoting reforms. A substantial part of the seminar is dedicated to exchanging good practices and discussing joint ways forward. We plan to publish a selection of these good practices in a compendium for equality bodies following the seminar.

The European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet) and the National Office against Racial Discrimination (UNAR) will co-organise a two-and-a-half-day seminar on 19-21 November in Rome to build the individual capacity of equality bodies’ staff members to deal with hate speech both on and off line. The seminar will focus on understanding the phenomenon of hate speech, as well as looking at how equality bodies can manage and prevent hate speech.

Training Sessions

Training events for staff of equality bodies will provide participants with the opportunities to immerse themselves in a particular topic in a manner that develops and deepens specific skills and expertise. Participants are nominated by Equinet member organisations on the basis of their responsibilities or interests in the topic addressed by the training events.

Article 33(2) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities foresees the designation of “a framework, including one or more independent mechanisms (…) to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the (…) Convention”. Overall, 32 equality bodies and NHRIs were designated independent mechanism to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the CRPD under the article 33(2) in 29 countries. In order to ensure effective engagement with the CRPD Committee as a key for better implementation of the Convention at national level, Equinet will partner with ENNHRI (European Network of Human Rights Institutions) to organise a joint training event for equality bodies and NHRIs on engaging with the UNCRPD Committee.


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Equality bodies are on the front line in the work of promoting equality and combating discrimination across Europe. They have developed practical experience, learning and expertise in their implementation of equal treatment legislation in their country. As per the Equal Treatment Directives, they are empowered to contribute to policy formation at national level by making recommendations on the basis of their work. At a European level, the combined and diverse learning from the work of the various equality bodies has a valuable contribution to make to policies and work promoting equality and combating discrimination, as well as to the mainstreaming of non-discrimination and equality in all policy areas.


Conferences explore key issues and developments in the field of equal treatment at national and European levels. These high-level events provide opportunities for exchanges between equality bodies, EU institutions and other stakeholders. They raise the profile of Equinet and national equality bodies as expert institutions in the field of equal treatment.

Conferences are open to senior staff and experts of equality bodies and to representatives from European organisations and external stakeholders.

Equinet’s earlier work on ‘Addressing Poverty and Discrimination: Two Sides of the One Coin’ and ‘Equality Bodies Contributing to the Protection, Respect and Fulfilment of Economic and Social Rights’ demonstrates, based on the experiences of equality bodies, the inextricable link between discrimination and poverty. Poverty leads to discrimination and discrimination exacerbates the experience of poverty. This conference will analyse these links and explore the experiences with socio-economic status as a discrimination ground, introduced by a growing number of countries. The programme will focus on the specific vulnerability of women and societal groups based on for example their ethnic origin or disability.

EN - Addressing Poverty and Discrimination: Two Sides of the One Coin (PDF, 378 KB)
EN - Addressing Poverty and Discrimination: Two Sides of the One Coin (PDF, 378 KB)
Contributing to the protection, respect and fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights (2015)
Contributing to the protection, respect and fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights (2015)

In 2018, the 15th anniversary of the deadline for implementing the Racial Equality and Employment Framework Directives, and the 10th anniversary of the European Commission’s proposal of the so-called Horizontal Directive provide a good opportunity to review the achievements, the current progress and the remaining gaps and challenges.

This conference aims to discuss:

  • The place of equality and non-discrimination as fundamental horizontal values in the next EU MFF and the contribution of EU funds to equality and non-discrimination;
  • Ways to ensure political commitment to equality and non-discrimination at all levels;
  • The role of equality legislation, ways to ensure optimal implementation of existing legislation and the need for completing the legal framework for equality
  • The role of strong, independent equality bodies in safeguarding the value of equality


Staff members of equality bodies will continue to meet within their working groups on communication strategies and practies, equality law, gender equality and policy formation throughout the year.

They will also meet within the contexts of our Clusters on Freedom of Movement and Research and Data Collection, and our Project on Combating Violence Against Women and Gender Based Violence.

Equinet, together with member equality bodies will continue to participate in the thematic platforms that have been set up together with the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The topics covered by each platform are: