Handbook on European non-discrimination law

The Handbook on European non-discrimination law, jointly produced by the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, is a comprehensive guide to non-discrimination law and relevant key concepts.

The handbook, published in March 2011, is the first publication to present and explain the body of non-discrimination law stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union law as a single, converging legal system.

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EU guide on public procurement

The European Commission emblem.

In 2011, the European Commission published ‘Buying Social. A Guide to Taking Account of Social Considerations in Public Procurement’.

The new guide is a very concrete tool to help public authorities to buy goods and services in a socially responsible way in line with EU rules. It also highlights the contribution public procurement can make to stimulate greater social inclusion.

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Rainbow Project report on workplace equality

Rainbow Project

In March 2011, the Rainbow Project published ‘Through Our Eyes – Experiences of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in the Workplace.’

The report was commissioned by the Department for Social Development and presents quantitative data on the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people of employment in Northern Ireland.

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Report on Migrant Communities and the ‘Big Society’

‘Migrant Communities and the “Big Society”. Struggling to Belong in the Age of Austerity’ was published by MRCF and Migrants Rights Network in March 2011.

The report aims to present the case for, and explore the critical role of, Migrant and Refugee Community Organisations (MRCOs) in providing social protection, accelerating integration and improving lives in London’s diverse communities.

The report shows why MRCOs are a crucial part of the Big Society. A better understanding of what MRCOs do, how they do it and the diffculties they encounter may help secure their funding and future, as well as a better provision of services in their communities. It will also help to understand the complex dynamics around migrant integration, leading to a better use of resources and a more cohesive and equal society for all.

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Public sector Equality Duty: policy review paper on new draft specific duties

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) logo.

On 17 March 2011, Ministers made an announcement to Parliament about the new Equality Duty. They confirmed that the general duty will come into force as planned on 5 April 2011. This is a positive duty that will help public bodies to deliver effective policies and public services, while increasing transparency and democratic accountability.

Draft specific duties regulations to support the general duty were published on 12 January 2011. Since publication, the Government has considered the draft regulations further in the light of two key policy objectives: ensuring that public bodies consider equality when carrying out their functions, and not imposing unnecessary burdens and bureaucracy.

On 17 March, the Government published a policy review paper which seeks views on new draft regulations designed to free up public bodies to do what is appropriate in their circumstances, to take responsibility for their own performance, and be held to account by the public.

The closing date for responding was 21 April 2011.

From 5 April, public bodies will need to comply with the new general duty. To help public bodies understand what their legal obligations are under the general duty and how they might achieve good practice, GEO is working closely with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to ensure clear, practical guidance is made available as soon as possible.

Click here for policy review paper ‘Equality Act 2010: The public sector Equality Duty: reducing bureaucracy’