National Equality and Diversity Forum (NEDF) Presents Publication on Equality and Diversity Mainstreaming

The publication “Equality and Diversity Mainstreaming: Review of the Best Practices in the EU Member States” (in Lithuanian) seeks to encourage the broader discussion among the decision and policy makers, implementers, non-governmental organizations and the members of the general public about the necessity of equality and diversity mainstreaming into the processes of the public policy on the national level. It is sought to provide for an impulse to take upon complex measures with the view of reducing discrimination on the grounds enshrined in the Law on Equal Opportunities, to increase social awareness and to promote respect for human dignity. The publication encompasses an analysis of the EU standards in the field of non-discrimination and equal opportunities, an outline of the best practices in foreign jurisdictions, an assessment of the national equal opportunities policy and a suggestion of several corresponding policy recommendations.

The first chapter of this publication discusses the standards and criteria for mainstreaming equality and discrimination in the processes of public policy with the view of initiating more comprehensive discussion on the necessity of applying the measures of the broader nature. This chapter also addresses the issue of gradual mainstreaming into the processes of public policy and the necessary steps, which have to be taken in order to define, implement and evaluate the national policies on equal opportunities. The broader discussion of these topics is encouraged by the necessity to provide for additional theoretical knowledge on mainstreaming equal opportunities in the processes of public policy in Lithuania.

The second chapter provides for a compendium on the best practices in the EU Member States on equality and diversity mainstreaming in the processes of public policy. Due to the fact that the mainstreaming of various measures in relation to the specific need of socially vulnerable groups encompasses the broad spectrum of analysis, the best practice examples in foreign jurisdictions are discussed through the lens of the measures of mainstreaming of the more general nature. However, if the national equal opportunities policy is based only on the measure of the general nature, there is an actual danger that the specific needs of some socially vulnerable groups will not be taken into account comprehensively. Therefore the action plans and strategies, aiming at mainstreaming the aspects of disability and sexual orientation and/or gender identity are discussed in more detail. The best practice examples in foreign jurisdiction regarding these two specific grounds of discrimination were selected strategically duo the social exclusion of people with disabilities and members of the LGBT* community in Lithuania.

The third chapter discusses the national policy guidelines with the view of mainstreaming equality and non-discrimination into all spheres of public policy without any exceptions. Suggestions and recommendations for decision/policy makers and implementers are based on the analysis of the Interinstitutional Action Plan for Promotion of Non-Discrimination 2015-2015 (adopted by the Lithuanian Government in January, 2015), suggestions provided by the non-governmental organizations and the best practice examples in the context of national equal opportunities policies in foreign jurisdictions.

This publication is one of the activities by the National Equality and Diversity Forum (NEDF), which seeks to generate effective advocacy outcomes in relation to equality and diversity mainstreaming. The publication is developed within the framework of the project “C.O.D.E.: Coming Out for Diversity and Equality”, funded by the European Commission programme PROGRESS. The project is implemented by the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson (OEOO), the National LGBT* Rights Association LGL and the Lithuanian Forum of the Disabled (LNF) together with the National Equality and Diversity Forum (NEDF). The National Equality and Diversity Forum (NEDF) applies the highest human rights standards in increasing its capacities as a consultative body and implementing measures with the view of generating effective advocacy outputs in the field of equality and diversity mainstreaming.

Nediskriminavimo ir lygybės aspektų integravimas: gerosios ES valstybių praktikos apžvalga ir nacionalinės politikos gairės“, 2015