Bilateralno sodelovanje je del mednarodnega sodelovanja na konkretni ravni med dvema državama. Pri tem gre za specifične dogovore in dobre prakse, ki omogočajo rast nacionalnih organov za načelo enakosti. Bilateralno sodelovanje omogoča izmenjavo mnenj in dobrih praks iz prve roke.
On 26 January 2018, the Advocate of the Principle of Equality in cooperation with the French Embassy organised a round table entitled Challenges and opportunities for women in business: the impact of gender on career, which was presented by: Tomislava Blatnik, representative of a French company Samsic in Slovenia, Živa Humer, researcher at the Peace Institute, Saša Mrak, Executive Director of the Managers’ Association of Slovenia, and Andreja Poje, Executive Secretary of the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia. The round table was moderated by the Advocate of the Principle of Equality Miha Lobnik. In their contributions, female speakers also briefly mentioned challenges they were faced with as female representatives on their career paths. In addition, Živa Humer and Andreja Poje offered a broader insight into the problems originating from labour law dilemmas of the Slovenian legislation as well as low level of business ethics and culture in the workplace. A degree of discrimination based on a personal circumstance of gender is still more than present in Slovenia, especially in the workplace.
In the framework of international bilateral cooperation, an idea about concrete mutual cooperation arose while holding discussions with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The cooperation was realised in October 2017 with a delegation visit from the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, their professional peer review, and the organisation of a public discussion about workplace discrimination in terms of gender and age at the Slon Hotel, and ended in December 2017 with a visit of the delegation of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality in Utrecht, where they attended a lecture and a presentation about the functioning of the Dutch authority for the equality principle (Equality Body) and visited one of their NGOs for combating discrimination.
In October, a delegation of the Dutch authority for the equality principle visited the Advocate of the Principle of Equality to carry out a professional peer review and to exchange good practice. Within the framework of the visit, the Advocate of the Principle of Equality hosted representatives of the Dutch authority in his new premises and explained them which challenges he has faced in establishing the authority, which was formally defined in 2016 with Law on Protection against Discrimination. The Dutch representatives contributed to the development of the authority with their valuable experience and recommendations, besides they attended a public talk on workplace discrimination from the perspective of age and gender on 19 October, with the Advocate organised in cooperation with the Dutch embassy. The Commissioner for the Principle of Equality Carina van Eck, PhD, also participated as a speaker at a public talk, together with Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, PhD, professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nejc Brezovar, PhD, state secretary at the Ministry of Public Administration, Dé Louis Hurwits, founder and director of Intersocks d.o.o., and Barbara Zupančič, coordinator of project Listina raznolikosti (Diversity Charter).
On 5 December 2017, the representatives of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality went to Utrecht, where they visited the Dutch authority for the equality principle – the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. The programme presented by the employees of the Institute, which was established in 1994, was comprehensive and practically oriented. The Advocate of the Principle of Equality initially presented the operation of the Slovenian authority for the equality principle and raised some questions and pointed out problems the Advocate has faced in establishing an independent state authority. Dutch colleagues presented the functioning of their institute from various aspects: operation of reception office, help and support to victims of discrimination, and the hearing process of both parties involved, as well as showed the interplay of various areas: law, public relations and foreign policy or policy management, addressing individual cases, influence in judicial proceedings, etc. Through conversation with several employees, visitors learned about the functioning of a similar Dutch institution, its jurisdiction, and possible procedures in case of reporting discrimination or human rights violations. They also attended a hearing on a reported discrimination case and visited the reception office of the institute responsible for receiving reports, communication with clients as well as offering help and information. The area of public relations and the relevancy of the latter for the area of awareness-raising and preventive work was also presented to them. Great emphasis was placed on prevention, education and awareness-raising, the soft approaches and the improvement of system arrangement, as well as warning against systemic discrimination within the traditional and historical perception of individual aspects of human life.