High Commissioner takes part in ECRI’s 2020 seminar

High Commissioner takes part in ECRI’s 2020 seminar

29 September 2020

As it has done every year since it was established, the Office of the High Commissioner for the Protection of Rights took part in the annual seminar organised by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), aimed at organisations promoting equality and national bodies which specialise in combatting discrimination in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

The 2020 seminar, which was held by videoconference on 28 and 29 September, focused on the theme of “Joining Forces to Communicate the Equality and Diversity Message”. During the event, the speakers, among whom were a number of European experts, particularly emphasised the importance of supporting the communications strategy using strategic tools to enable broader awareness-raising targeted at a variety of audiences, including young people, through special links with traditional media outlets as well as positive use of the internet and social media.

The seminar was an opportunity to reiterate just how important it is that bodies and institutions promoting equality and combatting discrimination cooperate with their peers and international human rights organisations, working towards the goal of increasing the global impact of communicating the equality and diversity message in Europe.

In light of the current health crisis, there was also discussion of the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on equality, racism and intolerance. Participants from all countries shared their concerns about the impact of the global economic crisis which is weighing on vulnerable groups of the population, in terms of employment, restricted access to public services and remote learning for children in these groups.

Following these discussions, the Greek Ambassador announced that the Greek Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe wanted to adopt, on 4 November, a declaration that would set new standards for protecting democracy, the rule of law and human rights during crises, and create a legacy for future generations.