Equinet’s response to COVID-19

Equality for Roma and Travellers: Time to Deliver

Equality Bodies accord high priority in their work to seeking improvement in the situation and experience of Roma and Travellers. They share a particular concern at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Roma and Travellers and how inequality and disadvantage have left these communities ill-equipped to protect themselves from the pandemic.

Why Intersectionality is relevant for a fairer Europe

Initially hailed as the ‘great equalizer,’ the COVID-19 pandemic has, in reality, exposed the depth of institutional, structural, and systemic discrimination and inequality in our societies. The question for Europe now is not if discrimination and exclusion exist but rather how intersectionality serves as a tool to create a fairer, socially just, and more inclusive Europe for everyone.

11 Recommendations for a fair and equal Europe: Rebuilding our Societies after Covid-19

Read Equinet’s Recommendations for a fair and equal Europe as we rebuild our societies after Covid-19.

How can Equality Bodies put equality between women and men at the heart of the response to COVID-19 across Europe?

In April 2020, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) published a policy brief, in which it shed light on the crucial issue that can no longer be ignored – the COVID-19 pandemic is reinforcing existing inequalities in our society and the long-term impacts of the health crisis will disproportionately affect women and girls.

The ban on full-face veils and the COVID-19 pandemic

Society has changed enormously in recent months. The world is under the spell of a pandemic. New manners and customs are appearing, such as no physical contact with others, new ways of greeting each other, social distancing and wearing face masks or alternatives is becoming the norm in public spaces. When it comes to this issue, the WHO is clear: wearing a medical mask can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19. From a human rights perspective, the latter trend is particularly interesting, especially if we take into account the fact that in some European countries wearing full-face veils in public spaces is prohibited by law and can lead to sanctions (i.e. fines, prison, administrative fines).

The other pandemic: Systemic racism and its consequences

The events of the last few days, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and following the death of George Floyd, have prompted an amplification of the racial justice movement in the United States that is resonating everywhere in the world, including in Europe. This blogpost aims to give some insight into this movement from a systemic racism point of view, highlighting how this is far from an isolated incident, but a part of a whole system of oppression that needs dismantling.

Persons with disabilities: locked up in institutions, forgotten by governments

I, as the communications coordinator for the European Disability Forum, have been following the COVID-19 impact since beginning of March. It has not been encouraging. Seeing how governments systematically forgot about persons with disabilities, how little support was given and how much pain and problems that created left me very discouraged. Persons with disabilities have been discriminated, isolated, forgotten and subject to multiple and severe human rights violations since the beginning of this crisis.

COVID-19 impact on equality: Equinet launches new online database

Equinet’s new interactive tool gives some insight into how National Equality Bodies (NEBs) are responding to the crisis, as well as the current trends which are appearing in its impact on equality across the region.

COVID-19: What is the specific impact on LGBTI people in Europe?

All of this is hard. We are living unprecedented times, but global response to the crisis should address its potential impact on marginalised groups, including LGBTI people, and their access to healthcare and safety at home, as well as to watch out for discriminatory practices and measures.

Equinet discussing the equality impacts of COVID-19 with European Commissioners

Equinet was contacted by the Commission owing to the unique expertise and insight equality bodies offer on the equality and non-discrimination issues raised by COVID-19.

Data includes all complaints received by equality bodies. It is likely that not all these cases will be found to be discrimination under equal treatment legislation.