UNICEF report on ‘The children left behind’

In 2010, UNICEF published ‘The children left behind. A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world’s rich countries’.

The report (Report Card 9) examines inequality in material well-being, education and health across 24 developed countries, and ranks the UK in the bottom two-fifths of countries alongside Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It shows that disadvantaged children in the UK fall further behind their peers than in countries such as France or Germany. The report clearly demonstrates that income poverty has the greatest impact on child inequality, and shows that without continued government intervention in the form of tax credits and benefits, the number of children living in poverty in the UK would be significantly higher. However, it also shows that Government efforts to date have been insufficient in both scope and scale to combat child poverty and inequality, and to decrease levels of child poverty to those we would expect in one of the world’s richest nations.

In the context of the development of a UK child poverty strategy, the findings of Report Card 9 take on a particular significance for the UK. UNICEF UK, among other things, has urged the Government to ensure that ambitious interim targets underpin the new child poverty strategy, and that a child-focused fairness test is rigorously applied to all proposed changes to the welfare, tax, education, and health systems to ensure that new policies do not increase inequality between children.

Click here for link (pdf)

Council of Europe study on prohibition of discrimination

In 2010, the Council of Europe published ‘The prohibition of discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights’.

This study proposes an insight into the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on discrimination with respect both to the main principles which guide its implementation and to the specific solutions which the Court has adopted in relation to discrimination.

The publication costs 28 Euros.

Click here for details

Department of Health guide on ‘Easy to Read’ information

Department of Health

‘Making written information easier to understand for people with learning disabilities: Guidance for people who commission or produce Easy Read information’ was published by the Department of Health, Office for Disability Issues, Mencap and the Central Office of Information in November 2010.

This revised edition of the good practice guidance is aimed at people who commission easy read information for people with learning disabilities. The guidance is primarily for public sector organisations at a local and national level, but also for other organisations who produce public information specifically for people with learning disabilities, or anyone involved in commissioning Easy Read materials

Click here for link

Government Equality Strategy announcement

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) logo.

On 2 December 2010, the Government published its Equality Strategy and announced that the Government Equalities Office will become a unit of the Home Office rather than a standalone department. The Strategy ‘sets out our vision for a strong, modern and fair Britain. It is built on two principles of equality – equal treatment and equal opportunity. This means building a society where no one is held back because of who they are, or where they come from’.

The Government also announced that employers will be asked to help tackle the gender pay gap by publishing equality data about their workforce on a voluntary basis and that the Equality Act’s rules on positive action in relation to recruitment and promotion will be enacted.

Click here for to Equality Strategy

Commission to assess the Spending Review’s compliance with equality law

The EHRC logo.

On 25 November 2010, the Equality and Human Rights Commission started a process to carry out a formal, independent assessment of the extent to which the Treasury has met its legal obligations to consider the impact on protected groups of decisions contained in the Spending Review.

The assessment was conducted under powers granted to the Commission under section 31 of the 2006 Equality Act.