Published by UCL Faculty of Law
UCL Faculty of Laws
Prepared under a grant from the Nuffield Foundation
Nuffield Foundation

Bridging the Divide?

Integrating the Functions of National Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions in the European Union

National equality bodies (NEBs) and national human rights institutions (NHRIs) promote respect for equality and human rights across Europe. Recently, a number of EU member states have merged such bodies, combining the functions of NEBs and NHRIs.

The emergence of this hybrid model of institution in the EU has received little attention in academic literature or official reports. This study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, aims to address this by analysing some of the challenges involved in attempting to ‘bridge the gap’ between equality and human rights functions.

Experts from six EU member states, where integrated equality and human rights bodies have been or are in the course of being established, each prepared an in-depth report.

Bridging the Divide? draws upon the country studies supported by further desk-based research and interviews. It concludes that integrated bodies which combine the functions of NEBs and NHRIs could generate new synergies between the equality and human rights elements of their mandate. However, this potential may remain unfulfilled if the challenges of integration are not adequately addressed.

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