Seminar to strengthen EU-UN co-operation to end discrimination

Combating discrimination is a priority for the United Nations human rights office which, in partnership with the European Union, is organising a seminar to discuss best practices on the issue on 14 October in Brussels.

Strengthening EU-UN Co-operation in the Struggle against all Forms of Discrimination. Brussels, 14 October 2009The event entitled “Strengthening EU-UN Co-operation in the Struggle against all Forms of Discrimination” will aim to raise awareness among the European public, policy-makers, the media and other stakeholders.

More than 120 experts will focus on discrimination against women, racism and discrimination of people with disabilities. The seminar will be opened by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Despite advances for women in many areas of activity and all regions, they globally remain unequal to men before the law and in everyday life. Panellists at the seminar will explore various forms of discrimination against women, including domestic violence against women. They will also address the various obstacles that hinder the realisation of women’s socio-economic rights as well as their access to justice.

As noted at the Durban Review Conference which in April 2009 looked at progress made in the fight against racial and ethnic discrimination, much is yet to be achieved to combat racism. Although States have an obligation to eradicate discrimination in the public and private spheres, racism still occurs virtually everywhere on a daily basis, hindering progress for millions of people around the world.

The adoption and entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last year has filled an important protection gap for persons with disabilities. By recognizing disability as a human rights issue, the Convention requires States to put in place all measures required to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy all human rights as equally as others.

The Brussels seminar is one in a series of joint efforts undertaken by the UN human rights office and the European Union to promote and protect human rights around the world since the beginning of their partnership in 2001.

13 October 2009