Promoting equality and access to rights

In parallel and in tandem with protection of rights, the institution deploys a policy of promotion of equality and access to rights.

This policy sets out to prevent the violation of rights and to develop practices by informing the public and assisting public and private sectors to establish action plans. It also consists in proposing changes to law and regulations.

It thus aims to reduce situations where access to rights is problematic and to enable people to assert their rights when they are not being respected, in particular by applying to the institution. Ultimately, it contributes to practical application of the principle of equality for all, both in access to rights and in their implementation.

Inset: A cooperative approach

The Defender of Rights favours a cooperative approach based on a network of partners on the ground (administrative bodies, businesses, unions and employers, employment agents, local authorities, public and private landlords, associations, universities and researchers, etc.) which may be formalised in partnership agreements enabling joint action to promote rights.

Inset: Joint and liaison committees

Joint committees are discussion groups between stakeholders from civil society and the Defender of Rights and meet twice per year. There are 7 committees:

  • Joint Committee on Health
  • LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex) Joint Committee
  • Joint Committee on Gender Equality
  • Joint Committee on Child Protection
  • Joint Committee of Associations Representing the Disabled
  • Joint Committee on Origins
  • Joint Committee on Advancing Age

Liaison committees are discussion groups which directly link professionals with the Defender of Rights. They also meet twice per year and discuss two sectors:

  • employment agencies,
  • private housing.

Europe and worldwide

The commitment of the Defender to promotion of equality and access to rights also extends to its international involvement. It has close ties with certain counterparts abroad and its membership of various international networks enriches its expertise.