InFRA 13-20 March

Dear All,

1.   WHAT’S NEW

a)    Help Roma women break the cycle of deprivation

b)    FRA leadership pledges to promote equality and diversity within the Agency

c)    Help improve the InFRA weekly newsletter

d)    Experts discuss UN global study on children deprived of liberty

e)    Working together to integrate refugees into the labour market

f)    Working group on crime and criminal justice statistics meets

g)    Delivering effective justice systems

 

2.   FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES

a)    Asian network for constitutional courts visits FRA

b)    Legal experts discuss improvements to pre-trial detention

c)    FRA joins Global Festival of Ideas

d)    Maltese Presidency child rights meeting on asylum reform

Please find below the latest information.

1.   WHAT’S NEW

a.    Help Roma women break the cycle of deprivation

Roma women have long been held back by inequalities, poverty, dire living conditions and a lack of opportunities, says the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on International Women’s Day on 8 March. “Too often Roma women fare far worse than men, denied opportunities to get the skills they need to find work,” said FRA’s Director Michael O’Flaherty. “We need to stand up for the rights of Roma women to help them break the chains that are holding them back from enjoying their human rights in life and in work.”

b.    FRA leadership pledges to promote equality and diversity within the Agency

The FRA Director and all Heads of Department signed a pledge on 8 March, International Women’s Day, to promote equality and diversity within the Agency. By signing, they committed to supporting, ensuring and safeguarding a working environment of equality, non-discrimination, inclusion and diversity for everyone working at the Agency. It applies across all organisational aspects at the Agency.

c.    Help improve the InFRA weekly newsletter

The Agency calls on readers of its weekly inFRA newsletter to complete a short anonymous user survey. The responses will help the Agency refine the newsletter to further meet the needs of its audience. The survey is available online. (Contact: Tara Morris)

d.    Experts discuss UN global study on children deprived of liberty

The Agency will join experts to discuss the methodology, and data and information gathering for the UN’s global study on children deprived of liberty. The meeting will take place from 13 to 14 March in Venice. The event is being organised by the United Nations and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation. (Contact: Maria Amor Martín Estébanez)

e.    Working together to integrate refugees into the labour market

The Agency will take part in a conference in Berlin on 14 March on labour market integration of refugees in Germany and other OECD Countries. The event is being organised by the the International Migration Division of the OECD together with the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. (Contact: Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos).

f.     Working group on crime and criminal justice statistics meets

The Agency will give a presentation on its work during a meeting of the Eurostat Working Group on Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics from 15 to 16 March in Luxembourg. The working group meets once a year to agree on data which EU Member States need to collect and transmit to Eurostat. During the meeting European Commission representatives will discuss new proposals for EU-wide data collection with representatives from national statistical institutes and Eurostat. Eurostat will also present progress of the task force, which is developing a survey on gender-based violence in the EU. (Contact: Sami Nevala).

g.    Delivering effective justice systems

The President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ), Nuria Díaz Abad, will discuss delivering effective justice systems with FRA’s Director on 17 March. The talks will range from issues like the rule of law to judicial independence, quality, efficiency and accountability. The European network brings together Judicial Councils in 20 EU Member States – councils that support and ensure the independent delivery of justice. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)

2. FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES

a.    Asian network for constitutional courts visits FRA

The Secretary General of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AASC), Mr Kim Yong-Hun, visited the Agency on 9 March. The AASC, founded in 2004, brings together institutions from 16 states, from the Philippines to Russia and Turkey. It seeks to enhance cooperation and increase support between the members. The delegation visited the Agency in order to understand better how the EU works on human rights. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)

b.    Legal experts discuss improvements to pre-trial detention

The Agency shared findings from its reports on criminal justice with Fair Trials International’s Legal Expert Advisory Panel that met in Athens from 3 to 4 March in Athens. The meeting explored how pre-trial detention can be improved, including greater use of alternatives. The panel consists of a large number of practising lawyers, but also academics and civil society representatives. Representatives from European courts and other institutions also participated to explore problems and possible solutions with practitioners. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)

c.    FRA joins Global Festival of Ideas

The Agency attended the Global Festival of Ideas in Bonn from 1 to 3 March. The event was organised by the UN’s Sustainable Devlopment Goals Action campaign and partners to help meet the needs of the global community of advocates to reach the 17 goals by 2030. It was an opportunity for the Agency to make strategic contact with the SDG Action campaign in light of preparations for the FRA’s Fundamental Rights Forum 2018. The interactive festival covered areas of relevance of the Agency’s work including communicating rights and the use of (big) data in promoting human rights. Many different working methods were used including policy simulations and viewing a refugee camp through virtual reality. Side events included Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum. (Contact: Dennis van der Veur).

d.    Maltese Presidency child rights meeting on asylum reform

The Agency presented its Opinions on the proposals for the revised Dublin and EurodacRegulations during a policy roundtable on 1 March in Brussels. The discussions focused on operationalising the best interests of the child principle in reforming the Common European Asylum System. UNICEF, UNHCR, ECRE, Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee were also part of the Roundtable. The event was organised by the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council for Member States’ delegates involved in the asylum working party. (Contact: Maria Amor Martín Estébanez)

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