The Equality and Diversity Forum held a conference on 15 June 2005 to hear directly from the new Ministerial team about the Equality Bill and plans for the Commission for Equality and Human Rights. The event was an opportunity for participants from a wide range of organisations to put forward comments and suggestions, and share information on the way ahead.
On 25 February 2005 an Equalities Review to investigate the causes of persistent discrimination and inequality in British society was announced by Equality Minister Jacqui Smith and Minister for the Cabinet Office David Miliband.
At the same time it was announced that the Department of Trade and Industry will begin a Discrimination Law Review working in parallel to the Equalities Review, to assess how anti-discrimination legislation can be modernised to fit the needs of Britain in the 21st Century.
Click here for Equalities Review website
On 21 October 2004, the Equality and Diversity Forum and JUSTICE hosted a seminar on the Northern Ireland Single Equality Bill Consultation at the offices of Clifford Chance in Canary Wharf, London.
The seminar was addressed by Evelyn Ellis, Professor of Law at Birmingham University and member of the Panel of Experts on the Consultation, and by Evelyn Collins, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission. It was attended by individuals from a range of organisations concerned with equality issues who discussed the Northern Ireland initiative and the extent to which it might be a helpful model for similar legislation in Britain. The response of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is available at www.equalityni.org
On 14 July 2004, the Equality and Diversity Forum, with the support of the Department of Trade and Industry, hosted a one-day conference to consider the Government’s White Paper ‘Fairness for All’ on the proposal to establish a Commission for Equality and Human Rights.
The event was attended by more than 140 individuals and representatives of organisations with an interest in the equality and human rights agenda. The Conference opened with an opportunity for participants to hear Jacqui Smith, Minister of State at the DTI, and Angela Mason, Director of the DTI’s Women and Equality Unit, speaking on the content of the White Paper. Participants were then able to put forward their own views on the White Paper in a series of workshops running throughout the day, before feeding back key points from the workshops in a plenary session attended by the Minister.
The key points in full from the Conference workshops
Text of the speech given by the Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith MP, Deputy Minister for Women and Equality