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What has been done in 2017 to promote diversity?

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What has been done in 2017 to promote diversity?

The second year of the project "Diversity promotion" is going on and we wanted to tell you about the implementation of the objectives we set out.

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE IN 2017?

In the beginning of 2017, an in-depth feasibilty study about the needs of persons subjected to the risk of social exclusion and discrimination was done. The feasibility study revealed the portrait of these persons, gave an in-depth characterization, including the features of social exclusion and the experience of discrimination. Based on the completed feasibility study, the most effective and most purposeful services have been determined, so the persons subjected to discrimination could be helped to recognize and maintain their rights, integrate into society and participate in social life.

In the spring of 2017, the development of a strategy of measures for the advancement of society's understanding and awareness was done, in which the current level of society's understanding and awareness about questions of social inclusion and discrimination prevention was explored and the most effective ways of reaching the target groups were identified, also creative solutions and the most effective measures for the promotion of the advancement of society's understanding, tolerance and society's unity were determined.

We have got a relatively new theme started in Latvia – diversity management. Employers have been offered to teach their employees about the issues of anti-discrimination, diversity management and tolerance. 3 educational programmes are available for different target groups.

The issue of gender equality was raised, with particular emphasis to gender budgeting. The first in Latvia study "Gender Impact Aspect implementation in the State and Municipal Budgetary Processes" was done, on which great interest has been expressed by politicians, policy makers and implementators, also specialists who deal with the budgetary processes everyday, as well as students and international experts, including from the European Institute for Gender Equality.

Social worker and social mentor services have been provided, and these specialists have been in the roles of advisers and consultants, aid providers and defenders to more than 300 asylum seekers, refugees and persons with alternative status, have helped them resolve their problems and become a part of Latvia's society. Thanks to the response of friends, colleagues, peers and NGOs, 53 gifts have been prepared for children from the Accomodation Centre for Asylum Seekers "Mucenieki" and also outside of it.

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NEXT YEAR?

There are plans to continue the training, so employers and employees could increase their understanding and competence about diversity management, as well as develop a skill of to conduct oneself without prejudice towards others. It is planned to train at least 200 State administration, local government, association or foundation, company heads or specialists. To find out more information, to get to know the training programmes and to have the opportunity to register for the planned training, see the training activity "Skatu Punkti"website.

We are planning to carry out several procurements to provide services of support and advancement of motivation for the persons subjected to the risk of social exclusion and discrimination, to evaluate the influence of the motivation programmes on the improvement of the target group's situation, as well as provide the availablity and continuity of social worker and social mentor services for asylum seekers and persons with alternative or refugee status.

Objective and unifying criteria will be developed, which will give the chance to administer and highlight the openness and suitability of the working environment for diversity in various companies, state and local government institutions and in non-governmental organisations, also there is a plan to sum up the examples of good practice and commend those employers who are establishing principles of diversity management and recognize the positive influence of diversity management on the working environment.

To inform the public, we are planning to start a long-term social campaign to draw the public's attention to the issues of discrimination, tolerance and unequal treatment.

Each of the aforementioned issues is of the utmost importance to promote tolerance and combat discrimination. Promotion of diversity has a wide scope and it needs to be worked on constantly.

We thank our service providers:
• SIA "Oxford Research Baltics" and "Oxford Research AB"
• Institute of Corporate Sustainabilty and Responsibilty
• Centre of Organisation Development "Spring Valley"
• SIA "Turn Digital"
• Society "Shelter "Safe House""
• "Baltic Institute of Social Sciences"
• SIA "Safege Baltija", SIA "Comperio" and SIA "Prospero".

Thank you!
Project's "Diversity promotion" unit