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Seminar with national specialised bodies to combat racism and racial discrimination on positive action

22 – 23 February 2007
Strasbourg, Human Rights Building
Salle de la Direction


Moderator: Ms Winnie SORGDRAGER, Vice-Chair of ECRI

SESSION 1: Setting the frame


Welcome by Professor Eva SMITH ASMUSSEN, Chair of ECRI

9:05 – 9:25

The concept of positive action

    - Ms Isil GACHET, Executive Secretary to ECRI

9:25 – 10:15


10:15 – 10:30 Coffee Break

Moderator: Mr Mikko PUUMALAINEN, Ombudsman for Minorities (Finland)

SESSION 2: Positive action - legal and political framework

10:30 – 10:50

The international legal and political framework for positive action

    - Professor Marc BOSSUYT, Professor of international law at the University of Antwerp and Judge at the Belgian Court of Arbitration

10:50 – 11:30

The national legal and political framework for positive action in a selected number of countries


    - UK: Mr Mohammed AZIZ, Commissioner at the Commission for Racial Equality


    - France: Ms Alexandra PALT, Director for the promotion of equality, Haute autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l'égalité (HALDE)


    - Slovakia: Ms Alexandra POLÁKOVÁ, National Centre for Human Rights

11:30 – 13:00


13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break

Moderator: Mr Mohammed AZIZ, Commissioner at the Commission for Racial Equality

SESSION 3: Positive action – the role of national specialised bodies

14:30 – 14:50

The significance of positive action to combat racism and racial discrimination and the role of national specialised bodies in this field


    - Mr Marc LEYENBERGER, member of ECRI

14:50 – 15:45


15:45 – 16:00 Coffee Break
Moderator: Mr Georges KAMINIS, Ombudsman (Greece)

SESSION 4: Positive action – practical examples I

16:00 – 16:45



    - Diversity management in the public civil service, by Mr Michel VANDERKAM, Centre pour l'égalité des chances et la lutte contre le racisme (Belgium)


    - The Charter for Diversity – a tool for promoting “positive equality” in private companies, by Mr Laurent BLIVET, researcher associated with the Montaigne Institute and consultant for the Boston Consulting Group


    - Xenos – living and working in diversity, by Mr Michael HEISTER, project leader of XENOS, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Germany)

16:45 – 18:00



Moderator: Ms Beate GANGĹS, The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombudsperson (Norway)

SESSION 5: Positive action – practical examples II

9:00 – 9:30



    - Positive action for Roma children in the national education system, by Mr Adrian BUNOAICA, National Council for Combating Discrimination (Romania)


    - Promoting diversity and combating segregation at school, by Professor Paul ZOONTJENS, Professor in Educational Law at the University of Tilburg (The Netherlands)

9:30 – 10:15


10:15 – 10:45

Participation in social and political life:


    - Enhancing the participation of cultural and ethnic minorities in society, by Ms Anastasia CRICKLEY, Chairperson of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (Ireland)


    - Practical initiatives for the integration of immigrants and ethnic minorities at the local level, by Ms Elisabeth MŘLLER JENSEN, Director of the Danish Centre for Information on Women and Gender (Denmark)

10:45 – 11:30


11:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break

Moderator: Professor Eva SMITH ASMUSSEN, Chair of ECRI


12:00 – 12:20

Presentation of the main findings by the Rapporteur of the seminar

    - Mr Giancarlo CARDINALE, member of the Secretariat of ECRI

12:20 – 13:00



Closing of the seminar