In the light of the European elections, the European parliament organised on 13th May the 2019 EU Work Forum on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the EU and its Member States with the focus on political and social participation of persons with disabilities. Deputy Ombudswoman and EQUINET Chair Tena Šimonović Einwalter spoke about the role of equality bodies in strategic litigation for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Given the unique mandate in protection and promotion of all persons, the equality bodies seems to be very good positioned for the role of independent mechanisms for monitoring the Convention implementation at national level, said Šimonović Einwalter. Thus during 2017 even 17 Equinet members were mandated as national mechanism for implementation, protection and monitoring the Convention implementation; their duties include raising awareness on the Convention rights, addressing complaints and giving recommendations.

Tena Šimonović Einwalter explained that the equality bodies regularly cooperate with civil society organisations as well as work in development of national and European legislature which safeguards the protection of all persons with disabilities from discrimination in all areas of life. Special attention is being paid on the negligence in providing the reasonable accommodation, hence to the intersectional and multiple discrimination to which members of other protected groups, like children, elderly, LGBT, ethnic and national minorities or migrants, are also exposed.