EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings

The European Commission emblem.

On 31 May 2013, the European Commission launched the EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings.

More than 100 European civil society organisations joined forces in the Europe-wide Platform. The Platform will serve as a forum for civil society organisations working at European, national and local levels, in the field of human rights, children’s rights, women’s rights and gender equality, migrants’ rights and shelters. Participants will be able to exchange experiences and concrete ideas on how to best assist victims, expand their networks, and prevent others from falling victims to this crime.

Click here for press release


Launch of the National Equality Standard

National Equality Standard

The National Equality Standard, launched in 2013, is sponsored by Ernst & Young in partnership with 18 other UK and global companies. It is supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the CBI.

The NES is a groundbreaking initiative developed for business, by business, which sets clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) criteria against which companies will be assessed.

The collective ambition is that the NES will become the accepted standard for business across the UK and make a significant and lasting impact on the way equality, diversity and inclusion is integrated into everyday business. A NES Assessment will provide companies with a comprehensive and quality review of their EDI policies and practices, identify areas for improvement and provide implementation recommendations.

The objectives of the NES are to provide an assessment tool which:

  • Enables businesses to undertake a comprehensive assessment specifically focused on EDI
  • Consists of best practice standards that can be applied to any business sector or size
  • Provides a single reference point incorporating all elements of the Equality Act 2010
  • Aims to significantly impact the way diversity and inclusion is integrated into everyday business activity across the country
  • Provides a pragmatic solution to EDI which rewards ambition
  • Supports the private sector by providing one recognisable holistic framework for industry good practice
  • Enables companies to showcase their business as leaders in this field
  • Bridges the gap between legal requirements and best practice.

Click here for details


Campaign of Young People for Human Rights Online

No hate speech movement

The Campaign of Young People for Human Rights Online is against the expressions of hate speech online in all its forms, including those that most affect young people, such as forms of cyber-bullying and cyber-hate. The campaign is based upon human rights education, youth participation and media literacy. It aims at reducing hate speech and at combating racism and discrimination in their online expression.

The campaign is initiated and run by the Council of Europe but it is based on national campaigns run in the member states of the Council of Europe.

Click here for details

Refugee Council/Maternity Action report: Pregnant women seeking asylum

In March 2013, the Refugee Council and Maternity Action published ‘When Maternity Doesn’t Matter’, a report which looks at the experiences of pregnant women in the asylum system, based on interviews with asylum seeking women and midwives responsible for their care.

The findings show that the UK Border Agency’s ‘dispersal’ policies are putting the health of pregnant women and their babies at risk. By moving them to acommodation around the county, women are uprooted from essential healthcare and their support networks, leaving them isolated and vulnerable.

The Refugee Council and Maternity Action are calling on the government to urgently review its policies to ensure the asylum system no longer puts women and their babies at risk.

Click here for summary

Click here for full report

Click here to join the campaign ‘Dignity in pregnancy’

Stop Learning Disability Hate Crime Helpline

Stop Hate UK

In January 2013, Stop Hate UK launched a new 24 hour helpline service, Stop Learning Disability Hate Crime, in England and Wales.

People in England and Wales who have experienced, witnessed or know someone who is experiencing Learning Disability Hate Crime can contact the Stop Learning Disability Hate Crime helpline on 0808 802 1155 for support and information. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It is free to call the Stop Learning Disability Hate Crime helpline from landlines and most mobiles and the number will not show on a phone bill.

The new service is funded by the Ministry of Justice Victim and Witness Fund.

Click here for details.

EVAW: ‘Schools Safe 4 Girls’ resources

End Violence Against Women

Rochdale and disturbing allegations about Jimmy Savile show how widespread abuse and harassment of women and girls is – it happens in every town, city and community in the country and there are deeply held prejudicial attitudes that tolerate and foster abuse.

Schools have a vital role to play in helping young people develop healthy attitudes and behaviours, as well as supporting young people experiencing abuse.

The End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition is calling for schools, parents, students and the government to work together to ensure that girls are safe and that work is done to tackle harmful attitudes and has produced a ‘Schools Safe 4 Girls campaign pack’ including:

Introduction to the campaign:

  • Action postcard
  • Campaign Briefing

Template letters:

  • Template letter to schools asking them to take action
  • Template letter to MPs
  • Template letter to local authorities
  • Template letter to local newspaper

Factsheets and more background information:

  • Questionnaire for schools
  • Findings of a YouGov poll on sexual harassment in UK schools
  • Factsheet about VAWG prevention
  • Factsheet about the Public Sector Equality Duty
  • Factsheet about the Human Rights Act

Click here for details and/or email to request a hard copy of the campaign pack.