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Seminar of the Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission (ECRI) for national independent authorities combating racism and intolerance
“Challenges faced in the current institutional and budgetary environment”

Date: 30 - 31 May 2013

Venue: Strasbourg – Council of Europe, Agora Building

Organised by: the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe

Participants: representatives of member States’ independent authorities (specialised bodies) combating racism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination), members of ECRI, representatives of national Ombudspersons and national human rights institutions, as well as representatives of international organisations and the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET).

Topic: National specialised bodies, which have made a distinct contribution to the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in many member States, are today confronted with a variety of different challenges. Some of them experience limitations to their independence, others have become part of larger bodies with wider objectives in the field of human rights. In some countries, the fight against racism and racial discrimination is entrusted to Ombudspersons. In others, responsibility for this task is shared between Ombudspersons, newly established equality authorities and, sometimes, human rights institutions. Due to the economic crisis, many of these bodies report additional financial and personnel’s cuts to their budget, resulting in a severe downscaling of activities and a potential loss of effectiveness. ECRI wants to discuss with the specialised bodies the impact of these trends on their work, with a view to making proposals for corrective action at European and/or national level.

Specific objectives: The seminar will address the following questions:

Press contact: Sylvia Lehmann, Council of Europe, tel: +33 3 88 41 29; fax: +33 3 88 41 39 87; email: sylvia.lehmann@coe.int

Link to the Programme
Link to the list of participants
Summary and conclusions Mr Michael Farrell

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion and language (racial discrimination), as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.