Annual reports

Annual Report and Accounts 1 April 2013–31 March 2014

The Commission's Annual Report and Accounts for 2013/14 were laid before Parliament on 16 July 2014. 

Foreword

Over the past year, equality and human rights have been a focus of national and international attention. The tragic events in Paris and Denmark led to a global debate about freedom of expression, while political discussions about fairness and equality took centre stage in the run-up to the 2015 General Election.

As Britain’s national equality body and an A-Status UN National Human Rights Institution, the Equality and Human Rights Commission's role is to promote and protect the equalities, human rights and civil liberties that form the bedrock of many British values and institutions, and which help Britain play a leading role on the international stage. 

Fairness and equality of opportunity are about the law protecting everyone, without favouring some individuals or groups.  Our work over the past year demonstrates how the Commission is addressing the issues facing an increasingly diverse Britain.

At the same time, we need to ensure that the rights of individuals who suffer particular discrimination and ill-treatment where they work or live are protected. To this end, during the year we carried out the first major inquiry into the preventable deaths of hundreds of people with mental health conditions who were detained in hospitals, prisons and police cells at the time. The recommendations of the inquiry will be implemented by the relevant regulators, and we hope will prevent further avoidable tragedies. We were pleased to see the Home Secretary’s subsequent announcement of work to ensure that, whenever possible, people with mental health conditions are no longer held in police cells. 

In delivering these achievements, the Commission relies on the continuing hard work of the Chief Executive and staff. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank them all for their efforts over the past year.

Our business plan for 2015/16 sets out how we will continue to deliver our mandate over the year ahead, working in partnership with organisations across the public and private sectors to play our part in delivering further progress towards achieving our strategic objectives.

During this year, we will also be working to safeguard our A-status as Britain’s National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) as the UN considers our reaccreditation, and bringing our expertise to the public debate on the Government’s intention to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights.

2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, when we celebrate Britain’s long and proud tradition of respect for the rule of law and the values of dignity, fairness and tolerance that we all share.  There is much to be done before we can be confident that we are a country that fully lives up to these aspirations and values. We look forward to the challenge

Baroness Onora O'Neill CBE, Chair

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Last Updated: 20 Aug 2015