ENNHRI Chair Lora Vidovic speaks at Equinet Annual General Meeting

ENNHRI Chair, Lora Vidović, spoke at the event

“Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions are each important in themselves, and even more impactful when they cooperate together, be it inside one institution, between institutions, or indeed between their representative networks”, said ENNHRI Chair Lora Vidović during the Equinet Annual General Meeting today in Brussels.

Equinet members, Equality Bodies from across Europe, partner organisations and other stakeholders, are meeting on 29 and 30 September in Brussels to discuss Equinet’s work on standards for equality bodies as well as its Workplan for 2017.

Lora Vidović, Croatian Ombudswoman and ENNHRI Chair, contributed to the panel discussion on ‘Strengthening equality bodies within the institutional architecture’ and presented ENNHRI’s view on the ongoing cooperation between Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and their respective networks.

Both NHRIs and Equality Bodies hold crucial positions in the institutional framework to promote and protect human rights and equality across Europe and are therefore natural partners. This is well illustrated by the Office of the Croatian Ombudswoman, which is both an NHRI and an Equality Body, and a member of both networks.

Institutionally, NHRIs and Equality Bodies may seem very similar, having comparable competences in the areas of handling individual complaints, monitoring human rights and equality situation or cooperation with civil society and other actors.

However, as Lora Vidović pointed out, there are also key differences making their cooperation even more relevant and strategic towards the promotion and protection of human rights and equality in Europe.

“We must consider each other’s work areas to ensure efficiency and increase impact and we will continue working with Equinet to achieve this goal” concluded ENNHRI’s Chair.