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Regional Campaign 2008 / 3rd Place / For Diversity. Against Discrimination & European Year of Equal Opportunities for All
Categorie:Regional campaignTitle of campaign:For Diversity. Against Discrimination & European Year of Equal Opportunitiesfor Allshort common description of the campaign::On 2000 the EC accepted two directives - on racial equality and equality inemployment. These directives became binding to Latvia as well when it accessedEU on 2004.However, the EC after some time when the directives were accepted concludedthat theyre not fully complied with and people are not completely aware of theirrights. Thus on 2003 in all EU and in 2004 in the new Member States, includingLatvia, a new information campaign "For Diversity. Against Discrimination" wasstarted with an aim to inform people of their equal opportunities in employmentand education regardless of their ethnic or racial origin, disability, sexualorientation, belief or age. This was a five year campaign to be concluded on 2007and on the last year of implementation it was accompanied with another, rathersimilar campaign of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All (this was alittle bit broader, not focused on employment and education only but also differentsocial situations, etc.).
research work done during the campaign:When the campaign was launched a start-up meeting was held in each MemberState where the representatives from different relevant NGOs, state institutions andother possible stakeholder organizations were invited. During the following years aclear active program committee was formed which twice a year met and discussedthe objectives to be achieved, activities to be implemented and activities alreadydone. The meetings in Latvia were organized by the PR agency which was incharge of the activities in general as well. The circle of organizations beingactively involved in Latvia varied from 10 to 15 during these years.strategy:The main target audiences of the campaign in all the countries, including Latviawere:- social groups which are mostly subject to discriminative attitude or behaviour;- economically active people being involved in employment in any way(employers as well as employees, job seekers, etc.);- young people between 16 to 24 years of age;- mass media and society in general.
The main communication channels involved general content as well as publicpolitics mass media, educational institutions and NGOs, organizations foremployers, employees, SMEs, etc. as well as different public events during whichdirect contact with diverse stakeholders groups was achieved.Activities implemented during 2007 under the framework of both connectedcampaigns:1) EU-wide journalist competition implemented in Latvia as well with an aim tomake the journalists aware of the discrimination issue as well as be more active incovering it;2) EU-wide photo competition and a local photo exhibition in autumn 2007 in acentral shopping-center where the passers-by had an opportunity to read shortstatements on discrimination and diversity in the society as well as see the photosdepicting the same issues;3) informative seminars organized during the International Tolerance Day in themiddle of November - seminar for the job seekers in order to raise their awarenesson their rights and opportunities, a seminar-discussion for the university studentswith invited speakers representing a refugee from Belarus, persons representing anAfrican, Jewish and Roma communities in Latvia, etc.;4) support to a hiking-trip for disabled people further broadcasted on the nationalTV channel for four consecutive weeks;5) opinion articles and commentaries in central mass media on discriminationissues, etc.
Results of the campaign and evaluation::Although both EU and Latvian officials admit that a lot of efforts should be put toeliminate discrimination in the European society still, people have started torealize their rights and diversity benefits.Thus several people in Latvia have dared to defend their rights for the first timehere - the priest Māris Sants and a Roma woman Sanita Kozlovska have won thelaw-suits when they were refused a definite position in work, a disabled personRaimonds Smagars has also won a law suit against a night-club which prohibitedto enter the club with a wheel-chair, etc.Also the Latvian state has accepted a range of amendments in legislation to reducediscrimination in the society.