EHRC report on Gypsy and Traveller communities

In 2009 the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published Inequalities experienced by Gypsy and Traveller communities: A review.

The report, by Sarah Cemlyn, Margaret Greenfields, Sally Burnett, Zoe Matthews and Chris Whitwell, reviews the available information about the severe inequalities that Gypsies and Travellers face in Britain today. It draws on a wide range of sources, including published literature, the results of Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments and a specially designed consultation.

The Commission also published Gypsies and Travellers – simple solutions for living together in March 2009.

Report on the role of grandparents and the wider family

On 25 March 2009, Grandparents Plus launched ‘Rethinking family life: exploring the role of grandparents and the wider family’ along with new opinion polling.

The report brings together a wide range of evidence on the role of grandparents and the wider family in caring for children and supporting parents, challenging the myth that the extended family is ‘dead’. It argues that the focus on the nuclear family misses the reality of family life in which grandparents and the wider family are playing an increasing role.

Click here for report

Click here for survey findings

Click here for press release

Click here for the Grandparents Plus website

European ruling on compulsory retirement age

On 5 March 2009, the European Court of Justice published its ruling on the challenge to the UK’s compulsory retirement age.

The decision confirmed that European Member States have ‘the option to provide, within the context of national law, for certain kinds of differences in treatment on grounds of age if they are “objectively and reasonably” justified by a legitimate aim, such as employment policy, or labour market or vocational training objectives, and if the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary. It imposes on Member States the burden of establishing to a high standard of proof the legitimacy of the aim relied on as a justification.’

Click here for ruling

Click here for Discrimination Law Association briefing by Gay Moon

Click here for Guardian report of the decision

EHRC receives UN accreditation

In February 2009, the Equality and Human Rights Commission received formal notification of accreditation from the United Nations (UN) as a National Human Rights Institute (NHRI).

This means that the Commission joins a growing group of human rights institutions across the globe tasked with monitoring and promoting human rights. NHRI status gives the Commission the opportunity to contribute to international law, policy, debate and understanding about human rights. The Commission can now participate fully in the Human Rights Council of the UN and will be able to make both written and oral interventions.