The project reviewed obstacles and opportunities for people in gaining access to equality bodies or similar entities in order to lodge a complaint about (perceived) discrimination. The research focused on eight EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Interviews were held in these Member States with complainants, people who eventually decided not to lodge a complaint, lawyers/ support organisations and representatives of equality bodies. Together with the desk study, the interviews formed the basis for the final report to the FRA, which highlights areas for improvement and proposes concrete measures to make these improvements.

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The project examined the situation around fundamental rights for persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with mental health problems in the European Union. The project was guided by the philosophy presented in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and was implemented with the full involvement of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems and their representative organisations.

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The purpose of this contract was to prepare a study on discrimination and on the anti-discrimination legislation, stakeholders and policies in Turkey and the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) in the context of the two EU anti-discrimination directives.

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The study included a mapping of legislation against the three forms of violence in the EU Member States, an overview of relevant international minimum standards for protection against these forms of violence and recommendations to the EU institutions and governments of the Member States on how to enhance the effectiveness of work to combat these forms of violence.

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Within the framework of this project, Human European Consultancy and the Migration Policy Group (MPG) designed specific training materials, organised several national seminars and designed dissemination activities for NGOs in order to help strengthen their capacity to deal with non-discrimination and equality.

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About our projects

Multi-annual & multi-country EU-wide networks

A major strand of our work in the field of non-discrimination and equality is the multi-annual and multi-country EU-wide networks, established and coordinated by Human European Consultancy for the European Commission. These are the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED), managed with the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, and the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination law, managed with the Migration Policy Group and the University of Utrecht. Over the years, these networks have continually produced ground-breaking national, comparative, synthesis and thematic reports.


Our research is geared to providing policy-relevant and evidence-based information and analysis that supports respect for and protection of internationally recognised human rights. For example, for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) we have conducted research on access to justice in discrimination cases in the EU and undertaken a study of data collection on the social situation of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems. Through FRA’s research network, FRALEX, we provided reports at the international and EU level and for more than 20 EU Member States on a wide range of topics, such as child trafficking, homophobia, data protection and national human rights institutions. Within the framework of the FRALEX successor, FRANET, we have produced reports on the principle of non-refoulement (prohibition on returning refugees to persecution) and on the social inclusion of migrants. For the European Commission we have analysed and assessed the establishment of equality bodies in the EU Member States and EFTA countries. We have also carried out a mapping project on the legal and policy framework for anti-discrimination in Turkey and the Western Balkans. In addition, we have conducted extensive research on the feasibility of harmonisation within the EU of legislation combating violence against women and children and violence based on sexual orientation.

Training and awareness-raising

Our evidence-based analysis and advice, together with target-group-specific approaches, are the key elements of our training and awareness-raising projects. For the European Commission we have organised good practice exchange seminars on all discrimination grounds for representatives of the governments of the EU Member States. We have also run anti-discrimination and diversity training for NGOs and trade unions. These were later followed by awareness-raising seminars in the area of non-discrimination and equality, targeted at civil society organisations in general.

Impact assessment and indicator development

Donors require evaluations to assess the impact of the projects they fund. Evaluations we have undertaken include projects funded within the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, a global review of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights technical cooperation programme and various evaluations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. In addition to the evaluations themselves, we contribute to the development of methodology for evaluations, such as developing indicator approaches and frameworks. Examples include outcome indicators for human rights interventions for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Dutch organisation Cordaid. More recently we supported FRA in developing statistical outcome indicators for Article 19 CRPD (on independent living).

Our office

Wilhelminapark 61
3581 NP Utrecht 
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 232 64 30

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