Wednesday, 27 February 2013

International UNITED Conference in Lithuania: Rethinking Diversity - Challenges for Equality in Europe and new Responses

UNITED is organising this conference in Lithuania from 26 to 31 of May 2013.

Rethinking Diversity: Challenges for Equality
"Diversity" has become a key term in contemporary social and political discourse. Diversity is a reality, a value, an aim and a normative prescription for how to achieve the objectives of social cohesion. Despite the openness and fluidity of the concept, we still tend to perceive ethnic, cultural, religious and other groups as homogenous entities. This is particularly visible in the anti-discrimination domain, for instance: discrimination of a Roma person is prohibited on the grounds of ethnicity, but how to deal with situations where ethnic background is not the only factor to cause unequal treatment? What if a Roma woman with mobility disability is being denied employment or housing on the basis of the all the grounds? Many inclusion policies have been reluctant to look beyond the "label" and accommodate the needs of individuals who belong to more than one disadvantaged group. The same is true for many NGOs working within a narrow area who rarely reach out for coalition-based partnerships.

Rethinking Diversity: New Responses
Against this background, UNITED aim at placing the concept of "identity" at the center of the discussion. In particular we will focus on discussing the need to build new coalitions which stretch across NGOs working in a particular field based on a common framework of human rights.

The Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of European Union will take part from the 1st of July, 2013. Preparation for the Presidency and the Presidency itself is a great opportunity for civil society to influence pan-European policies on equality, non-discrimination and minority protection. This UNITED conference provides excellent fora for collaboration and sharing ideas and experience that can be furthered in European level discussions.

Organisations interested in nominating a delegate should send their nomination (including the Expression of Interest form) by email before the deadline 3 April 2013 - 24:00 to

There is a reduced participation fee for participants from the enlarged EU and support of travel made available by UNITED.

Read the full description on the conference online

Information provided by UNITED for Intercultural Action

No comments: