The Equinet Highlights 2021 gives a short overview of what went on during one of the busiest years of Equinet to date.
The European Commission’s push for a Union of Equality, supported by an increasing number of equality initiatives, means that the work of equality bodies is ever more prominent, and the role of Equinet to transfer knowledge between the national and European levels has never been more important.
Over the past year, we have provided convincing arguments for the relevance of legislation on standards for strong, effective, and independent equality bodies to enforce non-discrimination and rights in practice. Our expert advice has fed into the analysis of the Racial Equality Directive and the human rights implications of Artificial Intelligence, pointing out where gaps in anti-discrimination legislation may exist, how we could expand the list of protected grounds within non-discrimination legislation, as well as proposing solutions to the issue of institutional racism.
We have worked to strengthen and support equality bodies in a broad range of areas. For example, Equinet gave them space to share and brainstorm on how to tackle the challenges they faced with the evolving context of COVID-19 and resulting issues arising from the potential introduction of mandatory vaccinations. Identifying obstacles to securing equality compliant healthcare service provision, better protect right holders in this field, and to promote egalitarian access to healthcare services broadened the discussion on healthcare. Developing members’ competences in the field of equality mainstreaming using equality duties and equality impact assessments was another first for the Network, as was the opportunity to explore how equality and non-discrimination are conceived and implemented at the local level within municipalities and cities across Europe. Our members also received training on how to build persuasive arguments to promote their work, and tackle online hate speech.
The power of community was highlighted in a number of different ways last year. Equinet continued to build bridges with important partners, from civil society organisations to international human rights organisations, to identify how to tackle a range of inequalities together, build our understanding of how to engage with different equality and human rights mechanisms, and to raise awareness about the work of equality bodies. We are very grateful to all partners for their support, engagement and inspiration.
You can find out more about these and other highlights in the annual report below:Equinet Highlights 2021