Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
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Commission announces priorities for 2009/10

The Commission today publishes its 2009/10 business plan which sets out priorities for the next year of operation.

After consultation with stakeholders across Britain, the Commission has developed key deliverables for the 2009/10 year. They include:

  • Supporting the passage of the Equality Bill, ensuring there is no regression of rights across the Commission’s mandate: for example, by influencing Government to ensure the different needs of people with disabilities are recognised
  • Developing well targeted, easy to use Equality Bill guidance, informed by consultation with specific groups 
  • Pursuing a minimum of 100 strategic legal cases across the Commission’s mandate
  • Producing a shadow report of the UN Convention for Elimination of Racial Discrimination and supporting the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People
  • Carrying out compliance and enforcement actions under the public sector duties in respect of race, gender and disability, building on over 330 actions initiated by the Commission in 2008/9
  • Developing a set of metrics for gender pay reporting
  • Publish the results of inquiries including into gender discrimination in financial services
  • Developing  the Commission’s work on homophobic and disability-related hate crime
  • Reporting on hostility to particular race and faith groups and how they vary between different populations
  • Conducting an inquiry into the role of faith and belief in our society
  • Launching a new strategic funding programme focusing on projects that directly serve individuals and communities across the Commission’s mandate

During the year, the Commission will be launching a campaign to encourage the public to use its website and helpline.

The Commission will also organise its work so that stakeholders can easily understand priorities in their area and engage with named champions with expertise on issues that concern them. The Commission will look at holding a series of strand and theme based conferences to allow more stakeholder input into its policy development.

Since its formation in October 2007, the Commission has already made significant progress across the seven protected grounds: age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation.

Achievements include:

  •  The distribution of nearly £11m in grants to 285 groups nationwide to promote equality, diversity and good relations.
  • Taking on 330 legal cases and answering 75,000 helpline calls. 
  • Establishment of new strategic case law, including the Sharon Coleman case which gave Britain’s six million carers the right to protection against discrimination by employers.
  • The Working Better initiative which examined how flexible working and modern workplaces can support different groups such as parents balancing work and life, disabled people, older people and those with caring responsibilities.
  • The launch of The Human Rights Inquiry as well as the publication of Ours to Own: a plain English guide to the Human Rights Act.
  • United Nations accreditation as an ‘A’ status National Human Rights Institution, giving the Commission international recognition and status as the independent body charged with promoting human rights in Britain.

Ends

For more information contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission Media Office on 0203 117 0255 / out of hours 07767 272 818.

Notes to editors

Download a copy of the 2009/10 business plan here.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission.

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

The Equality and Human Rights Commission will enforce equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourage compliance with the Human Rights Act. It will also give advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.

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