ACCESS is currently focusing its activities on the following areas:
- Social rights of vulnerable populations in times of economic crisis
ACCESS is engaging with national civil society organisations to ensure the protection of the social rights of vulnerable groups of people disproportionately affected by the economic crisis. The organisation is developing projects to address the deepening and long-lasting consequences of the austerity measures on the protection of human rights. We aim to promote the effective implementation of the European Social Charter, and increase national NGOs’ engagement with the European Committee of Social Rights. In this context, ACCESS will focus in particular on the protection of the social rights of refugees and migrants.
- Diversity, Inclusion and Intersectionality
ACCESS is working with national NGO partners to strengthen the dialogue between local authorities and civil society in order to find political and practical solutions to institutional discrimination and foster the inclusion of minorities and vulnerable groups. Through training seminars and expert roundtables, these exchanges will adopt an intersectional approach and offer a forum to discuss multiple discrimination based on socio-economic status, migration status, sexual orientation, genders, age, (dis)ability, and racial and ethnic identity, aiming to promote the building of European communities that fully embrace and protect diversity.
- Prevention of torture
ACCESS, together with the Institute of Political Science of Grenoble (IEP Grenoble), has co-authored a study proposing a system of assessment of the effectiveness of NPMs and their impact on torture prevention, through a series of criteria and indicators, as well as an observation tool. The study and proposed tool have been discussed during two expert consultation meetings in Grenoble (including members of NPMs, the SPT and of the CPT Secretariat, as well as experts from the civil society and academia), and organised jointly by the Council of Europe, the IEP and ACCESS, in January and March 2016.
As of 2016, ACCESS is the editor of the European NPM Newsletter, published bimonthly by the Council of Europe. The Newsletter provides a platform for exchanges of news from the European NPMs and relevant international and regional bodies, as well as for thematic discussions on particular issues related to torture prevention and the work of the NPMs. >> Read the newsletters
- Women’s human rights and violence against women
ACCESS is engaging thematically on women’s human rights and violence against women. The organisation is developing a project on raising awareness and building the capacity of NGOs to engage with the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). On May 4, 2015, the monitoring body of the Convention, the GREVIO, was elected to monitor the implementation of the Istanbul Convention by the Parties. ACCESS will work with national NGO partners to promote awareness, monitoring and implementation of states’ obligations under this first legally-binding instrument in Europe on violence against women.