Empowering civil society and public actors in the field of antidiscrimination

On June 11, 2008 Institute for Public Affairs organised an international conference which was an activity of the project Towards Equal Treatment: Awareness Raising and Multi-Level Empowerment of the Civil Society and Public Actors in the Field of Anti-Discrimination.

Project is conducted in a partnership with Citizen and Democracy, Head 98 (Hlava 98) and PDCS and supported by the EU programme for employment and social solidarity 2007-2013 (PROGRESS) and the Government Office of the Slovak Republic.

Antidiscrimination and questions concerning respect of human rights were the main topics of the conference. During the daylong event specialists from the non-governmental sector, public and state authorities as well as from the business sphere spoke about the issue. In the first panel, László Nagy, chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, Minorities and the Status of Women of the National Council of the Slovak Republic; Marek Lisánsky, director of the Human and Minority Rights Section, Slovak Government Office; Janka Debrecéniová from the NGO Citizen and Democracy; and Vanda Durbáková, attorney cooperating with the Advice Centre for Civil and Human Rights evaluated the implementation of national antidiscrimination policies in Slovakia. Martina Stěpanková from the Prague Law Centre enriched the conference with her contribution about the situation in antidiscrimination legislation as well as in the area of policies in Czech Republic.

In the second panel, the topic of discrimination was elucidated with a presentation of findings form quantitative and qualitative sociological surveys by researchers from the Institute for Public Affairs Oľga Gyárfášová, Zora Bútorová, and Martina Sekulová as well as Elena Gallová Kriglerová from the Centre for Ethnicity and Culture Research.

Representatives from the business sphere (employers) and the non-governmental and state sector discussed activities and strategies to reduce discrimination in a roundtable debate during which spoke Daniela Gemerská from the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, Alexandra Stachová from the Office of the Public Defender of Rights, Lucia Noskovičová from the Human Resources Department of IBM Slovakia and Laco Oravec from the Milan Šimečka Foundation.

In the last part of the conference, VACULIK Advertising, Mayer/McCann-Erikson and NGOs Hlava 98 and Aspekt presented creative social campaigns. As a conclusion of the conference, Branislav Mamojka from the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union and producer Marko Škop introduced Slovak documentary film Blind Loves which was recently awarded at the film festival in Cannes.

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