On Wednesday 11 March 2015, the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) held a hustings for its members and associates that was attended by Benali Hamdache for the Green Party, Sharon Hodgson MP for Labour and Margot James MP for the Conservatives. We’ve put together a summary of some of the discussion points.
In addition, to tie in with the run-up to the General Election 2015, please see below a collection of manifestos and election related material from EDF’s members and associates:
In December 2014 the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) published State of Children’s Rights in England 2014.
The UK government is expected to do all it can to implement the The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – to make sure all law, policy and decisions which impact on children comply with their human rights. The report notes a few positive development but says that in most other respects, there is poor implementation of the General Measures of Implementation of the UNCRC in England.
The report and children’s rights are discussed in an article by Zoe Williams in the Guardian on 9 December 2014.
On the 18 March 2014 the APPG on Equalities held a meeting in the House of Commons on Parliament’s role in the current review of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
The UK has ratified, and is therefore legally bound by ICESCR. The Covenant guarantees the human rights to health, education, housing, food, social security and employment. Every five years, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reviews UK compliance with the Covenant, and issues a series of concluding observations and recommendations. The last UN review took place in 2009, and the next review is scheduled to take place over the next year, with the Government submitting the state report in June 2014.
The meeting was held in partnership with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Just Fair.
- The Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) gave an overview to the 2014 UK Government’s report.
- Sarah Veale CBE, Commissioner and Anna Henry (Equality and Human Rights Commission) gave an overview of the scope and milestones of the current ICESCR review and the role of Parliamentarians in treaty monitoring and reporting.
- Jonathan Butterworth (Just Fair) provided a case study on the realisation of the right to food in the UK.
The Sharing Our Good Fortune: Understanding and Responding to Wealth Inequality report from the Policy Commission on the Distribution of Wealth was launched on 22 October 2013.
The report found evidence that wealth inequality has negative effects on a range of outcomes such as health and well-being, educational opportunities, social cohesion, democratic processes and so on. The report then considered how policy should respond to wealth inequality, considering first those at the bottom of the wealth distribution with very little and perhaps even negative net wealth. It also looked at policies in relation to those in the middle and the top of the wealth distribution.
The Policy Commission on the Distribution of Wealth also carried out research with the general public (through an Ipsos MORI poll) to measure their attitudes to wealth inequality which found that the public grossly underestimate the extent of wealth inequality and believe it should be much lower.