APPG Equalities seminar: The future of equality

On 20 March 2007, The All Party Parliamentary Group on Equalities held a seminar to discuss the Future of Equality with the Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

Click here for link to abbreviated transcript of meeting

CEHR draft vision and mission statement

In April 2007, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights published its draft vision and mission statement for consultation and comment.

A Britain at ease with all aspects of its diversity, built on fairness and respect for all.

The Commission for Equality and Human Rights is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. The CEHR aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights.

The CEHR will challenge prejudice and disadvantage, and promote the importance of human rights.

The CEHR is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It will enforce equality legislation on age, disability and health, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourage compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998.

The CEHR will work to bring about effective change, using its influence and authority to ensure that equality and human rights remain at the top of agendas for government, employers and society. It will campaign for social change and justice.

The CEHR will act directly and by fostering partnerships at local, regional and national levels. It will stimulate debate on equality and human rights. It will give advice and guidance, including to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and also to individuals.

The CEHR will develop an evidence based understanding of the causes and effects of inequality for people across Britain, and will be an authoritative voice for reform.

The closing date for comments was 25 May 2007.

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