Strategic priority 3

Build a society without prejudice, promote good relations and foster a vibrant equality and human rights culture

Rationale

  • The evidence suggests that structural discrimination and disadvantage are exacerbated by subtle processes that involve negative stereotyping, hostility and hatred towards particular groups, and deep-set prejudicial attitudes which themselves trigger harmful behaviours. Our ambition over the long-term is to change the attitudes of a generation. We will work towards this through research, an alliance with government and NGOs, and a range of activities undertaken beyond the Commission. We will also build our links with cultural institutions to promote equality and human rights.
  • There is evidence of heightened segregation and a lack of shared understanding, tolerance and respect of diverse cultures, beliefs and lifestyles, as well as a sense of powerlessness and marginalisation in some communities.
  • The Commission will seek to reduce the general levels of prejudice in society, building on progress in some areas. For example, racism appears to be less prevalent among younger generations in Britain, though it is far from absent. There are also pressing challenges such as tackling hatred and violence directed at disabled people, lesbian, gay and bisexual communities, and transgender people.
  • There is sound evidence that discrimination is fuelled by prejudice, segregation and lack of awareness. Unless we address the root causes of unlawful discrimination, the Commission will find the demand for retrospective interventions 'to right past wrongs' is unsustainable. Our strategic approach is about tacking the systemic causesand effects of discrimination.
  • The Commission has a statutory duty to ensure that public bodies adequately address their good relations duties, yet there is currently considerable confusion and uncertainty around the legislative framework on community cohesion.
  • The Commission will often work through intermediary institutions such as the strategic public bodies that set policies for schools and universities. These bodies may have greater insight into grassroots barriers and opportunities. We will also develop direct channels through which we can communicate with the public.

Last Updated: 21 Jul 2009