Equalities Review Final Report Published

The Equalities Review published the Final Report of its investigation into the causes of persistent discrimination and inequality in British society in February 2007. The review was chaired by Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

The Equality and Diversity Forum welcomes the fact that the Prime Minister commissioned this work and we hope that the Government will respond positively to its recommendations. The EDF endorses the need for active policies to enhance equality of opportunity and quality of daily life and well being. The evidence presented by the Equality Review demonstrates what a long way we are from that objective, in spite of the measures taken by Government and others to combat discrimination.

Click here for the Equalities Review website (archive)

Click here for response from Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly

Joint Committee on Human Rights: the case for the Human Rights Act

In November 2006. the Joint Committee on Human Rights published the results of an inquiry following public controversy aroused by three high-profile cases in May 2006, which led to Ministers, the Opposition and the media questioning whether the Human Rights Act 1998 should be amended or repealed.

The Committee’s report, ‘The Human Rights Act: the DCA and Home Office Reviews’ examines the reviews conducted by the Home Office and the Department for Constitutional Affairs. It concludes that none of the three cases which sparked controversy – the Afghani hijackers’ judgment. the Anthony Rice case and the failure to consider foreign prisoners for deportation – demonstrate a clear need to consider amending the Human Rights Act.

Click here to read the JCHR report

Click here to read the DCA review

DCA Review of the Human Rights Act

In July 2006, the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) announced the results of its Review of the Implementation of the Human Rights Act. Lord Falconer, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor confirmed that the Government remains committed to the European Convention on Human Rights and has no plans to repeal the Human Rights Act.

Click here for link

EDF report: ‘Taking Equal Opportunities Seriously’

The EDF logo.

In 2004, the Equality and Diversity Forum, with the support of the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Nuffield Foundation, published ‘Taking Equal Opportunities Seriously: The Extension of Positive Duties to Promote Equality’, a piece of research by Colm O’Cinneide of University College London.

In contrast to the retrospective, complaints-driven approach of the existing anti-discrimination legislation, the proactive, problem-solving approach fostered by a responsibility to promote equality has obvious appeal. But what in practice does it require from employers and service providers and what can it really deliver?

Colm O’Cinneide’s study, commissioned by the Equality and Diversity Forum, addresses the question of whether employers and service providers in Britain should have a statutory duty, not only to avoid discrimination, but to promote equality on the basis of gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion or belief.

In addressing that question for the public and private sectors, this paper demonstrates that an equality duty represents an opportunity for individuals, organisations and employers, not a threat, and makes an important contribution to the debate on the strategic direction of equality policy.

Click here for link to report