Government strategy for preventing extremism

Home Office

On 7 June 2011, the Government launched its strategy for preventing people being drawn into terrorism.

The new Prevent programme will:

  • deal with all forms of terrorism and target not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit
  • ensure government funding and support cannot reach organisations with extremist views who do not support mainstream British values
  • challenge the ideology that supports terrorism and those who promote it
  • support sectors and institutions, including universities and prisons, where there are risks of radicalisation
  • draw on existing successful programmes to protect vulnerable individuals from being drawn into terrorism
  • crucially, all new programmes will be evaluated rigorously to ensure effectiveness and value for money

The Home Secretary, Theresa May said:

‘Prevent is an integral part of our counter-terrorism strategy and aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Our new Prevent strategy will challenge extremist ideology, help protect institutions from extremists, and tackle the radicalisation of vulnerable people. And we will not fund or work with organisations that do not subscribe to the core values of our society.

Above all, it will tackle the threat from home-grown terrorism.’

Click here for details on Home Office website

Click here for strategy document (pdf)

Parliamentary debate on the European Convention on Human Rights

The House of Commons logo.

On 19 May 2011, the House of Lords debated the European Convention on Human Rights, with a number of  peers expressing support for the Convention, for human rights and for the Human Rights Act.

Baroness Whitaker stated: ‘The domestication of the European Convention on Human Rights, via the Human Rights Act, far from licensing various kinds of absurd or even criminal behaviour, has achieved respectful, compassionate and fair treatment for very many of our fellow citizens oppressed by systems or bureaucracy or misguided or oppressive elements of the state, as the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, eloquently described. Enemies of red tape and bureaucracy should welcome the Human Rights Act’.

Lord Willis pointed out that the Convention ‘was inspired by Winston Churchill, was largely drafted by British lawyers and was seen after the horrors of totalitarian tyranny as a way of protecting the individual against the arbitrary power of the state. The Human Rights Act incorporates those protections into British law so that British citizens can seek them in British courts. Yet too often now, these rights are viewed as an irritant by politicians seeking easy headlines and by journalists who are eager to write them’.

In relation to the Bill of Rights Commission, Lord Lester of Herne Hill confirmed ‘I am privileged to serve on the Bill of Rights commission. I assure the noble Lord, Lord Wills, that I would not be there if I thought there was the slightest risk of weakening the current protection of human rights’.

Concluding the debate, Lord McNally, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, stated that ‘this country had an amazing role in creating the European Convention on Human Rights. We will go forward in the 21st century as firmly committed to that as the generation who, as was rightly said, experienced personally, at first hand, what happens when the state gets out of control-when it does not have checks and balances, and when there are no human rights’.

Click here for link to debate on parliamentary website

Click here for link to debate (Word version)

EDF briefings on the Localism Bill

The EDF logo.

In May 2011, the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) published briefings on the Localism Bill for the House of Commons report stage and the House of Lords second reading.

Second reading in the House of Lords was on 7 June with Committee Stage scheduled to start on 20 and 23 June 2011.

In January 2011, EDF also produced a briefing for the House of Commons second reading of the Localism Bill.

Click here for House of Lords second reading briefing

Click here for House of Commons report stage briefing

Click here for House of Commons second reading briefing

Click here for details of the Bill

 

Introduction of new public sector Equality Duty and positive action measures

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) logo.

The public sector Equality Duty came into force as planned on 5 April 2011, followed by positive action measures on 6 April.

The aim of the public sector Equality Duty is for public bodies to consider the needs of all individuals in their day to day work, in developing policy, in delivering services, and in relation to their own employees.

Provisions in the Equality Act 2010 related to positive action in recruitment and promotion commenced on 6 April. These voluntary provisions cover the use of positive action in matters of recruitment and employment and can be used by an employer to address under-representation or other forms of disadvantage within the workforce.

Click here for information about the Equality Act 2010 on the Government Equalities Office website

Equality Act 2010 codes of practice on employment, services and equal pay

The EHRC logo.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s new codes of practice on employment, services and equal pay, reflecting the Equality Act 2010 as commenced on 1 October 2010, came into force on 6 April 2011.

They replace five existing codes issued by the predecessor bodies to the EHRC. The new codes are aimed primarily at the specialist reader: courts or employment tribunals; lawyers; HR specialists.

The codes are admissible in evidence in civil proceedings. Failure to comply with a code must be taken into account by a court or tribunal, where relevant.

Government social mobility strategy

On 5 April 2011, the Government published Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility.

The strategy focuses on inter-generational social mobility, to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to do better than their parents. It aims to tackle unfairness at every stage of life with specific measures to improve social mobility from the foundation years to school and adulthood.

As part of the strategy, the Government will create a new statutory Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.