November 2011

Welcome to the November edition of the Commission's email newsletter, Equality and Human Rights News

Home care inquiry

Launch of 'Close to home' report

On 23 November we published 'Close to home: older people and human rights in home care'. The report follows a 12 month investigation looking at to what extent public authorities promote and protect the human rights of older people (aged 65 and over) in England with regards to home based care and support. Our inquiry reveals disturbing evidence that the poor treatment of many older people is breaching their human rights and that hundreds of thousands of older people lack protection under the Human Rights Act. We hope our report will make a difference to the lives of older people and assist the process of government’s planned reforms to adult social care.
Read more about the home care inquiry

Bill of Rights

Our response

Our response to the government's examination into the creation of a new Bill of Rights argues that individuals gain essential protection from human rights violations through the Human Rights Act, and that it must be protected and preserved.
Read more about our Bill of Rights response 

Human Trafficking in Scotland

Launch of inquiry report

This inquiry looked into the nature and extent of human trafficking in Scotland. We also inquired into the factors that give rise to human trafficking in Scotland and identified lessons which could lead to a more effective investigation protocol for trafficking cases throughout the United Kingdom, as well as in Scotland with its different legal system. The Inquiry’s findings led to a series of recommendations, designed to help prevent human trafficking and improve responses to it. 
Read more about the human trafficking inquiry 

Strategic plan consultation

Have your say

Help us develop our next strategic plan for 2012-15 by taking part in phase 2 of our consultation. The plan will cover our goals and priorities and is due to be laid before Parliament in April 2012. The deadline for responses is 12 December 2011.
Read more about the strategic plan consultation

More news

Legal Aid Bill Success

Drawing on recommendations from our disability harassment inquiry, we worked on an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill with Kate Green MP, shadow equalities minister, and supported by Paul Maynard MP (Con). We recommended equalising sentencing for murder aggravated by disability, with murder aggravated by race, religion and sexual orientation. This was debated at report stage in the Commons on 1 November. The Lord Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke MP, announced that the government agreed with Ms Green's position and that it will table amendments in the Lords to give effect to the proposal.
Read more about the disability harassment inquiry or contact

Web Accessibility training

We have teamed up with AbilityNet and BCS to develop a Web Accessibility Essentials e-learning course that will equip individuals and businesses with a fundamental understanding of digital inclusion. Completing the course provides you with guidance on best practice across all areas of digital content creation, and supplies simple techniques for solving problems wherever users encounter them.
Read more about the web accessibility training course

Inquiry into the meat and poultry processing sectors

Between 2008 and 2010, we found widespread evidence of mistreatment and exploitation of migrant and agency workers in the meat and poultry processing industry. We have started a review of the extent to which the relevant bodies have implemented the inquiry report’s recommendations. We are asking the meat and poultry processing sector what changes they have made following the inquiry report and recommendations.
Read more about the meat and poultry processing inquiry

Gender pay gap

New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the gender pay gap has narrowed for full time workers in the UK. Commissioner Kay Carberry said: 'Forty years after the introduction of the Equal Pay Act, today's figures are a step in the right direction. But we can't be complacent – as the gap is still there.'
Read more about the gender pay gap press release

Equalities Mediation Service

The Commission has a contract with Mediation Works, to provide an independent mediation service to mediate in discrimination complaints under all equality strands. The service is also able to mediate in complaints concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility in regard to air travel.
Read more about the Equalities Mediation Service

Legal updates

For updates on legal cases and appeals in which the Commission has intervened, such as the Preddy and Hall case and Christopher Stott v Thomas Cook Air Tours PLC, see the legal updates section of our website
Read more about legal updates

Human Rights Review

The official launch of our Human Rights Review has been postponed. It will not take place on 12 December. The Commission has made this decision to ensure we fully consider all the feedback received from our stakeholders. We are adamant that this landmark report should be as good and authoritative as it can be before it is published. We will publish the new launch date shortly.
Read more about the Human Rights Review

Construction Leadership Diversity Forum

Following our inquiry into race in the construction industry, we set up the Construction Leadership Diversity Forum (CLDF). After consulting this summer with key industry stakeholders, we have handed over the group to the industry. Construction Skills the largest Sector Skills Council for this sector have agreed to take over the CLDF and lead the work from 2012.
Read more about the Construction Leadership Diversity Forum

Targeted harassment research

Two new Commission research reports show that, despite Britain becoming a generally more tolerant place over recent decades, many people are still targets for harassment because of who they are. Public authorities, who have a statutory duty eliminate unlawful harassment, advance equality and foster good relations, need to do more to address the problem.
Read more about the targeted harassment research

Equal pay software survey

We are currently exploring the feasibility of preparing guidance for employers on the benefits and range of equal pay software available on the market. We are keen to hear about your thoughts and experiences and would appreciate it if you would take 10 minutes to complete our survey.
Read more about the equal pay software survey

Annual Report 2010 / 11

The Commission's annual reports and accounts for 2010/11 were published on 24 November 2011. The financial year 2010/11 was a period of change for the Commission, as we adapted to new legal, economic and political circumstances. Over the course of the year, the Commission achieved real successes, and began the process of reforming itself into an effective, modern, evidence-based regulator.
Read more about the Annual report 

Scotland news

Disability Convention seminars

We and the Scottish Human Rights Commission have been designated as independent bodies to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the UN Disability Convention in Scotland. We are holding four free online seminars that will relate the Disability Convention to what you have told us are the key issues facing disabled people in Scotland. The series will begin with an exploration of disability equality and human rights in the context of public spending cuts and welfare reform. Later seminars will consider issues such as access to justice, independent living and children and young people.
Read more about the Disability Convention seminars

Wales news

Making the most of the specific equality duties in Wales

The new Wales specific equality duties present a powerful opportunity to tackle the greatest inequalities in Wales. The duties mean that councils, hospitals, schools and other public bodies must listen to local groups when making policies, setting objectives and carrying out other work. This presents the opportunity for strong partnership working. Welsh public authorities wanting to gain an understanding of how to use the duties to achieve positive outcomes can attend the Commission's Equality Exchange events in December. See here for more details. Voluntary groups that want to use the duties to get their priorities onto the agenda of a public body can attend two Wales Council for Voluntary Action events being held in January. The Commission will be giving a presentation on the duties at these events. For further details and to sign up, please see the WCVA website.
Read more about the Wales specific equality duties

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