Policy and research

The Commission's mandate is to promote equality, human rights and good relations. This offers us the opportunity to talk about rights in entirely different terms, in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the values and standards that we are charged with promoting as a human rights institution.

Respect for human rights is essential to the functioning of an open democracy and human rights underpin all of our equality and good relations work. Human rights principles provide a basis from which to build and maintain a safer, more prosperous, cohesive society, with care and consideration for the dignity and wellbeing of everyone at its heart.

Although all the Commission's work can therefore be seen from a human rights angle, this section contains information about the projects and policy issues most clearly related to human rights and details the human rights research we are carrying out.

Policy issues

  • Human Rights Measurement Framework
    The Commission, in partnership with the Scottish Human Rights Commission, has published the groundbreaking Human Rights Measurement Framework (HRMF), bringing together information and evidence for analysing and assessing human rights in Britain. It will enable the Commissions, Government, public bodies, NGOs and others to evaluate compliance with, and progress towards, the implementation of human rights in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Inquiry into disability-related harassment
    We have recently launched a Formal Inquiry into the actions of public authorities to eliminate disability-related harassment and its causes. Addressing a major equality and human rights issue, this inquiry will take evidence from disabled people who have experienced harassment and examine how well this is being addressed by public authorities.
  • Bill of Rights
    We have developed a set of key principles that we believe are essential in developing a Bill of Rights that will give us all the protection we need as well as embed a greater understanding of human rights principles across society.
  • Care and support - From safety net to springboard
    Effective social care is central to the Commission's vision of delivering equality and human rights. We believe that the Government must consider modernising the basic approach to care and support to achieve three key aims.
  • Our response to the Coroners and Justice Bill, November 2009
    John Wadham, the Commission's Group Director Legal, responds to introduction of secret inquests
  • Parliamentary Briefing: Coroners and Justice Bill, House of Commons, Committee Stage, February 2009
    The Commission welcomes the Bill and applauds its overarching objective to deliver a more effective, transparent and responsive justice and coroner service for victims, witnesses, bereaved families and the wider public.However, the Commission has two main concerns with the Bill 
  • Parliamentary Briefing: Counter-Terrorism Bill, including proposals to allow detention for up to 42 days
    The Commission had concerns that proposals in the Counter-Terrorism Bill could breach provisions that protect people's human rights, and lead to discrimination against specific groups.
  • Equality Measurement Framework
    The Commission has been working with GEO, ONS, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and a range of stakeholders and subject experts to develop a measurement framework that can be used to assess equality and human rights across a range of domains relevant to 21st century life.
  • Triennial Review
    Every three years, the Commission must publish a report that demonstrates how far society is making progress in equality, good relations and human rights. The aim of the 'Triennial Review' is to highlight critical issues that society is currently facing, which will help set our agenda for future work.


See the human rights research page for details of ongoing and completed projects.

back to top