Strategic plan foreword

Introduction from our Chair, Trevor Phillips

For the first time, a statutory body has the responsibility to protect, enforce and promote equality across the seven 'protected' grounds - age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

The plan summarises our priorities and sets out a series of programmes and projects that we believe will help to make Britain a fairer, more equal place, with fewer of us likely to face discrimination and more of us able to realise our potential to the full. In particular, this plan addresses the question of how the Commission will support the implementation of the Equality Bill.

But the heart of our mission, our integrated mandate, means that we will act across all the areas for which we are responsible, promoting fairness through structural change that benefits the 60 million people in Britain. We will always be ready to tackle the specific issues of discrimination, inequality and human rights failings that matter to each of the protected groups we are concerned with.

There can be no fair society if age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment remain as markers of disadvantage; and there can be no lasting or deep-rooted progress for disadvantaged groups unless we make a robust case for fairness which involves everyone.

In delivering this plan we will not be working alone. We already have many dozens of partner organisations who share our dedication to equality, good relations and human rights, and we consider it vital to work in close collaboration with them.

I would like to thank all of the people who took part in our consultation and offered us their insights, evidence, experience and ideas. We received over 400 contributions to the online consultation and welcomed more than 780 participants to events across England, Wales and Scotland. Without those contributions we simply would not have been able to develop a plan which was directed at the right targets or which could possibly work in the real world.

The people who were involved in this process came from a variety of backgrounds - business, public service, the voluntary and community sector, trade unions, academia - and they represented the interests and concerns of the full diversity of British society. Most are engaged in the day-to-day work of advancing equality and human rights. I cannot overstate the debt the Commission owes to those working on the frontline - both for that daily work and for bringing their expertise to bear on the development of our strategy.

In the coming three years we intend to capitalise on the relationships we have been building with people and organisations who have an interest in the Commission's work and we will find more ways to secure the expert advice of many in our projects and our decision-making. The hard work of delivering this strategy can only succeed with the involvement of the widest possible coalition. I hope and believe that our plans match that ambition.

Trevor Phillips
Equality and Human Rights Commission

More information

You can download our strategic plan below.

Last Updated: 16 Jul 2009