Last month, the Equal Rights Trust completed its final factfinding mission as part of its work promoting the implementation of three UN conventions and seven core International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions in nine countries around the world. During our missions, we have met with approximately 400 representatives from civil society and trade unions, gathering critical information on how best to strengthen their efforts to monitor and advocate for the effective implementation of the conventions in their respective countries.
From January to July our missions have taken us to Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Paraguay and the Philippines. Naturally, we found vast differences in each country relating to knowledge on the conventions and on the methods employed by civil society and trade unions in engaging governments.
With all the information obtained, we will now be able to deliver the next important stage of our work – that of building and strengthening equality movements on the ground to carry out effective monitoring and advocacy. Our approach will be adapted to the country context so we can best meet the needs of those we are supporting.
In the next stage, we will carry out intensive interactive training, bringing together civil society and trade union organisations to learn from our expert trainers and each other’s experiences. To further ensure we build a strong, unified equality movement across countries, we will target stakeholders in remote locations and those unable to attend in-person through the use of an online training platform.
During the training, participants will learn best techniques for monitoring the implementation of the conventions and skills will be developed on effective strategies for engaging government. Whether these strategies are focused on reaching governments indirectly through initiatives such as media campaigns or by holding official meetings with policy makers, by using our factfinding consultations, we will find the most suited approach and journey with those we are supporting.
Our project spans the next two years and integrates approaches we have taken from years of experience in strengthening equality movements in a range of contexts. Following the training component, we will provide practical, financial and strategic support to enhance collaboration amongst civil society and trade unions and we will advocate at regional and international levels to amplify our call for the implementation of the conventions.
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The UN treaty body conventions we are focusing on include, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The ILO conventions concern seven of the eight core conventions relating to issues concerning freedom of association, equal remuneration, minimum age, forced labour and discrimination.
If you are from a civil society or trade union organisation based in the countries mentioned and would like to be part of this work, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.