EASO continues to engage in a two-way dialogue with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) through the organisation of Consultative Forum (CF) meetings, electronic consultations on key EASO documents, as well as direct participation of specialised CSOs in various areas of EASO’s work.
Thematic consultation with CSOs are organised in addition to the annual Plenary Meeting with a view of rendering the CF more effective. This year, EASO launched a survey with civil society to collect input on the desired theme and format for the 2019 CF meetings for both the Thematic and Plenary CF meetings). A total of 84 replies were received and the results indicated that respondents favoured the theme of vulnerable groups for the thematic meeting. After internal consultations, it was proposed to organise a thematic meeting on gender-related persecution. The event took place on the 11th of July in Brussels.
The overall aim of the meeting was to explore how CSOs support persons in EU+ Member States' asylum and reception systems who experienced gender-based persecution, identify the main challenges and good practices, and discuss if and how EASO could integrate civil society's expertise in possible future work on this topic. The meeting involved more than 35 specialised CSOs with relevant experience and expertise to contribute to the topics.
EASO consulted relevant CSOs and International Organisations (IOs) to identify key issues that require further attention and space for discussion. As a result, four main topics were addressed in detail during thematic breakout sessions, including:
- Women and girls in the EU asylum systems
- Mitigating the risks of gender based violence in reception facilities
- Harmful traditional practices as ground for asylum
- Reception conditions for LGBTI applicants
The meeting consisted of mixed participatory methods with plenary sessions as well as interactive thematic breakout sessions. The breakout sessions were facilitated by representatives of CSOs with the support of EASO, in order to give the lead and the floor to CSO participants. During these sessions, participants formulated and agreed upon recommendations to be addressed to civil society counterparts, national authorities and EASO. For further information about this meeting please consult the dedicated area on the website via this link.