On Thursday 24th May 2018, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe launched a revised standards (General Policy Recommendation No.2) for the establishment and functioning of European equality bodies.

 StrasbourgECRIMay18The revised standards were launched at an event that brought together representatives of equality bodies, national Ombudspersons and national human rights institutions; members of ECRI; members of national parliaments; representatives of national authorities, international organisations, NGOs and networks. The event participants also discussed the role of equality bodies and good practices in combating hate speech, including awareness raising, research and data collection, assistance to victims and decision-making on complaints.

Minister Stanton addressed the launch and outlined Ireland’s perspective, stressing the importance of the independence of Ireland’s human rights and equality body and the value they contribute to countering racism and intolerance.

Minister Stanton also met with a number of Council of Europe officials to discuss Equality and Integration issues: Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Snezana Samardzic-Markovic, Director General of Democracy; and Tomáš Boček, Special Representative on Migration and Refugees.