Creating a fairer Britain
The Commission believes that everyone should be treated fairly and with dignity. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.
Discrimination and disadvantage are still common across Scotland. We don’t all have equal chances in life and some forms of discrimination are deep-rooted.
For example, some disabled pupils don’t always have equal access to education or extra-curricular activities at schools. A woman may receive less pay than a male colleague who is doing the same work as her, simply because she is a woman. Or an older person may be overlooked for a job or promotion, even though they may be more experienced than someone younger.
Sometimes people make decisions that are unfair or choose to ignore the rights of others even when this is against the law.
This is why the Equality and Human Rights Commission is here. We aim to help Scotland develop in a way that values the ideals that most of us hold dear – respect, freedom, equality, dignity and fairness.
These are also the core principles that underpin ‘human rights’ – the basic rights and freedoms that belong to all of us as human beings.
The Commission has a remit not just to protect equality, but to promote it across what the law describes as the nine "protected" characteristics.
• Religion or belief
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Sexual orientation
• Gender reassignment
Where we find that discrimination is taking place, or that someone is being treated unfairly because of their identity, we can use our legal powers to make positive change in practices, behaviours and the law.
We will continue working closely with the Scottish Human Rights Commission, with whom we share our human rights remit in Scotland.
Through all of our work - with the public sector, the voluntary sector, the private sector, the Scottish Government, with other equalities organisations and with individuals - the Commission wants to help create a society in which everyone is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Our programme of work in 2012/13 focused on challenging inequality, building opportunity and supporting a society based on fairness and respect, and delivery was based on our 2012/12 Business Plan, below.
To maximise the impact of our reduced resources, this business plan concentrated on fewer but higher impact activities.
Business Plan 2011/12
The Scotland Directorate Review of the Year 2010/11