European Development Days (on 26-27 November 2013) focused more than ever on the links between human rights and development. OHCHR maintained an information stand during the entire two days of the event, attended by some 6000 stakeholders.
On 17-18 June 2013, to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Regional Office for Europe of OHCHR and the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission held a joint regional symposium entitled “Preventing abuse and neglect of older persons in Europe”. It brought together representatives of EU Member States and European Union institutions, civil society organizations as well as representatives of other international and regional organizations (UNECE, OECD and the Council of Europe). It was the first such collaboration on the part of the European Commission and the Regional Office for Europe of OHCHR.
Representatives of 24 EU Member States participated in a seminar on the recommendations of international human rights mechanisms, organized in Brussels by the Regional Office for Europe of the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) on 18 and 19 April 2013.
On the 11 December 2012 the OHCHR Regional Office for Europe, along with its partners - the European External Action Service, the United Nations Regional Information Centre, The International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva and the BOZAR fine arts centre – continued the tradition launched in 2009 of holding a joint event to commemorate Human Rights Day in the form of a film screening followed by a panel debate.
On 6 December 2012, High Commissioner Navi Pillay delivered keynote speeches at the two main human rights events of the European Union – the annual Fundamental Rights Conference, on the internal dimension, and the annual EU-NGO Forum, on the external dimension of the EU’s human rights policies.
ollowing her meeting with members of the European Expert Group on Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG) in Brussels on 6 December 2012, High Commissioner Pillay has sent letters in support of such a transition to all EU Member States.
High Commissioner Pillay was the keynote speaker at the conference on Non-discrimination and Development, organized by the European Commission on 1 June 2012 in Brussels. While addressing all forms and grounds of discrimination, the event focused above all on the rights of LGBTI persons. The High Commissioner acknowledged that Europe has been in the vanguard of LGBTI rights but also mentioned some East European countries where troubling proposals for laws have been tabled. She emphasized that such proposals were wrong and that, if adopted, such legislation would make open discussion of sexual orientation all but impossible.
On 7 May 2012, the Regional Office for Europe of OHCHR hosted a colloquium entitled “CRPD and EU Structural Funds: the right to independent living”.