The National equality and diversity forum (NEDF) – is national collaboration network which unites non-governmental organizations, representing discriminated and vulnerable people. NEDF seeks to achieve common goals in fighting against discrimination on the grounds of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion and beliefs, race or ethnicity. NEDF members act together seeking for equality and security of human rights in Lithuanian state policy and on a practical level.
NEDF was established in 2010 in the frame of the project “Against Discrimination and Intolerance: Searching for Possibilities of Effective Collaboration” in accordance with European Union Employment and Social Solidarity Programme Progress.
Currently NEDF consists of seven organizations representing different vulnerable groups. Also, there are eight observer organizations – representatives of organizations and institutions dealing with human rights. Secretariat of the Forum consists of representatives of the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman and Lithuanian Social Research Center.
NEDF members have regular meetings each month. These meetings are dedicated for sharing ideas and information, planning general activities. Decisions are being made on a consensus, with a respect for a position of each NEDF member. The collaboration between members is based on the principles of honesty, equality, transparence and openness.
NEDF collaborates with governmental institutions, other non-governmental organizations, private sector, academic community and lawyers.
The vision of NEDF is a society free from discrimination, where all people are equal and have a possibility to realize their potential without obstacles; where diversity is promoted and people are free to express their individuality without fear of experiencing violence, where human rights are respected, freedom and equality are dominating.
- To gather resources, information, experience of non-governmental organizations representing vulnerable groups (people experiencing exclusion and discrimination on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation) for effective implementation of anti-discriminatory activities;
- To provide opportunity for other organizations to participate in setting and implementing anti-discriminatory policies, practices and development processes;
- To augment tolerance, foster respect for every person, to reduce the manifestations of discrimination, to define the ways in which discrimination functions in the society and to put equal opportunities into practice.