Equality and Human Rights Commission report: Turning the Tables – Ending Sexual Harassment at Work

The EHRC logo.

‘Too many people are being silenced by toxic workplace cultures’, says  a March 2018 report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Turning the tables (PDF) looks at how sexual harassment is dealt with by employers, and uses the evidence from individuals who have experienced sexual harassment at work to recommend improvements.

The report finds:

Around a quarter of those reporting harassment said that the perpetrators were third parties such as customers or clients
Many individuals believed that senior colleagues, due to their position of influence within organisations, were not challenged by HR departments or other colleagues, with some describing these individuals as ‘untouchable’
Around half the respondents hadn’t reported their experience of harassment to anyone in the workplace
In around half of the cases where individuals did report the incident, respondents said that employers took no action as a result.
Read the full report (PDF).

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless report: Third Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe 2018

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless logo

The profiles of homeless people are changing, with children becoming the largest group of people in emergency shelters as a result of a deterioration in the living conditions of extremely vulnerable families.

This from the March 2018 annual report (PDF) from the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)

This report reveals how millions of Europeans face housing exclusion on a daily basis as well as a dramatic picture of increasing homelessness across most of the EU – in particular amongst children, women and migrants.

The report finds:

In France, 20,845 people called the 115 homeless helpline requesting accommodation (in June 2017)
Dublin City Council spent € 39 million on hotel nights for homeless people in 2016, while € 10.7 million was spent on prevention and supported housing
In Britain, 29% of spending was on temporary accommodation and (44% of which was spent on hotels/Bed and Breakfast) and 61% on housing services (between 2015-2016)
Over the last number of years, only two European countries (Finland and Norway) have seen a reduction in the number of homeless people
Read the full report (PDF).

Equality and Human Rights Commission report: The Cumulative Impact of Tax and Welfare Reforms

‘The impact of changes to direct taxes and benefits is to reduce the income of
Bangladeshi households by around £4,400 per year on average’.

Four months after releasing their 2017 interim report, the Equality and Human Rights Commission have published their final cumulative impact assessment (pdf), in March 2018.

The report exposes how much individuals and households are expected to gain or lose, and how many adults and children will fall below an adequate standard of living, as a result of recent changes to taxes and social security.

The report finds:

Negative impacts are particularly large for households with more disabled members, and individuals with more severe disabilities, as well as for lone parents on low incomes
For some family types, these losses represent over 13% of average net income
At an individual level, women lose on average considerably more from changes to direct taxes and benefits than men
Lone parents in the bottom fifth of the household income distribution lose around 25% of their net income, on average
Around 1.5 million more children are forecast to be living in households below the relative poverty line as a result of the reforms.
EDF and a number of our members have contributed to the development of this important research.

Read the full report (pdf).

Institute for Fiscal Studies briefing: Poverty and Low Pay in the UK

logo for Institute For Fiscal Studies

57% of people in poverty are children or working-age adults living in a household where someone is in paid work.  

This is according to a March 2018 briefing from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on poverty and low pay in the UK. 

The briefing finds:

Low pay is highly related to lack of pay progression. The wages of the low- and high- educated, and of men and women, end up much further apart by age 40 than they were at the start of their careers
Experience and education are both positively associated with higher wages, but the association with experience is much stronger for the high-educated than the low-educated
The fact that women’s wages fall behind their male counterparts over the lifecycle is, in part, related to a remarkable lack of wage progression in part-time work.
Read the full briefing.

Equality and Human Rights Commission survey report and campaign: Moving Forward

6 in 10 employers agree that a woman should have to disclose whether she is pregnant during the recruitment process.

This is according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) who have published the results of their survey on maternity discrimination in the workplace, in February 2018.

The aim of the survey was to understand managers’ attitudes around pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Findings from the survey include:

44% of employers agree that women should work for an organisation for at least a year before deciding to have children
40% of employers claim to have seen at least one pregnant woman in their workplace ‘take advantage’ of their pregnancy
41% employers agreed that pregnancy in the workplace puts ‘an unnecessary cost burden’ on the workplace.
EHRC have also launched a February 2018 campaign to combat these negative perceptions and end discrimination against new parents. Working Forward asks businesses to join the campaign and make the pledge.

Read the research report.

Find out on the Working Forward campaign.

Scottish Human Rights Commission report: Building a Human Rights Culture in Scotland

The Scottish Human Rights Commission logo.

Human rights belong to everyone. We all have rights regardless of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, income, gender, country of birth or belief.

This is from the February 2018 report from the Scottish Human Rights Commission on building a human rights culture in Scotland.

The research tested and identified the impact of different types of messages on people’s attitudes towards human rights

The report finds:

Demographic groups of women and 16-24 year olds were most likely to become more supportive and engaged with human rights when exposed to key human rights messages
When talking about human rights, organisations involved in human rights secured the greatest levels of trust amongst all those surveyed, with 58% of participants saying they would trust them a great deal or fair amount.
This compares to 17% for a famous singer, actor, sportsperson or musician who is well known for caring about human rights
Different spokespeople affected the impact of messages. For example across all those surveyed, a disability rights campaigner has more impact than the Chair of the National Human Rights Institution when discussing disability rights.
Read the full report (pdf).

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights report: Migration to the European Union – Five Persistent Challenges

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

‘Asylum-seeking children in several EU Member States had no or limited access to education’, says a February 2019 report (pdf) from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Building on the findings of their October 2016 report (pdf), this report presents the most pressing fundamental rights concerns between October 2016 and December 2017.

The report finds:

Legal and practical obstacles to accessing legal aid, information and interpretation existed in all EU Member States covered
Sexual and gender-based violence in reception centres remains an issue in some EU Member States
Police and border guards reportedly ill-treated migrants, particularly on the Western Balkan route, and in Spain in certain locations.
Read the full report (pdf).

House of Commons Library briefing paper: Rough sleeping (England)

The House of Commons logo.

‘Relationship breakdown is the largest single trigger of rough sleeping, leading to 42% of male rough sleeping’.

This is according to the February 2018 briefing paper (pdf) from the House of Commons Library. This paper provides background information on the problem of rough sleeping in England, and outlines Government policy on this issue.

The paper finds:

The most recent statistics published on 25 January 2018 recorded a 169% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in England since 2010
Among women, 35% slept rough after leaving home to escape domestic violence
Rough sleeping is at its most severe in London.
Read the full report (pdf).

Human Rights Watch report: World Report 2018

Human Rights logo

Despite allegations of serious abuse in immigration detention centers, the UK
persisted in not imposing a maximum time limit for immigration detention, and
continued to detain asylum-seeking and migrant children.

This is from the January 2018 report (pdf) from the Human Rights Watch (HRW). World Report 2018 is their 28th annual review of human rights
practices around the globe.

The report summarises key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events from late 2016 through November 2017. 

The report finds: 

Germany over the past year made headlines when the Alternative for Germany (AfD) became the first far-right party to enter its parliament in decades
Despite a strong tradition of protecting civil and political rights, Australia has serious unresolved human rights problems. Australia continued in 2017 to hold asylum seekers who arrived by boat on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and on the island nation of Nauru, where conditions are abysmal
Bahrain’s human rights situation continued to worsen in 2017. Authorities shut down the country’s only independent newspaper and the leading secular-left opposition political society. 
In Bangladesh, civil society groups faced pressure from both state and non-state actors, including death threats and attacks from extremist groups.

Read the full report (pdf).