Largest ever review reveals levels of progress towards equality in Wales, England and Scotland over the last five years
The most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection across Britain has been published today. It reveals that while for some life has become fairer over the past five years, for others progress has stalled and for some life on many fronts has got worse. Young people suffered the greatest drop in income and employment of any group and now face greater barriers to achieving economic independence and success than they did five years ago.
Is Britain Fairer? shows how socio-economic status, age, ethnicity and other factors impact on the outcomes for different groups of people at different stages of life.
The report includes Wales-specific findings. These will be summarised in a Wales report, to be published in December this year.
The report's key challenges and findings specific to Wales include:
Close attainment gaps in education
- 16.8% of pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) achieved at least 5 GCSEs at A* - C compared to 63.2% of pupils without SEN in 2013.
Encourage fair recruitment, development and reward in society
- Muslim people have the lowest employment rate of any religious group.
Improve living conditions in cohesive communities
- In 2013, 23% of adults were living below 60% of the overall median income, after housing costs. This rises to 35.3% of people aged 16 to 24 and 37.7% of people from an ethnic minority.
Encourage democratic participation and ensure access to justice
- Women are under-represented at all levels in politics in Wales, making up just 27% of councillors.
Improve access to mental health services
- Some children continue to be hospitalised in adult wards.
Prevent abuse, neglect and ill-treatment in care and detention
- Too often the circumstances surrounding deaths in detention involve breaches of people’s human rights.
Eliminate violence, harassment and abuse
- Around 1 in 5 people from an ethnic minority reported experiencing discrimination, harassment or abuse in the previous 12 months.
Today the Commission launches the public consultation on its Strategic Plan for 2016-19. This will gather views on how best the Commission can protect and promote equality and human rights. Consultation events in Wales take place in November and December.
Ann Beynon, EHRC Commissioner for Wales, said:
"This report shows that progress towards equality has been made for some people in certain areas of life. However, many people are being left behind. Young people have been particularly badly-hit over the last five years, with life on many fronts getting worse. The gateway to opportunity remains harder to pass through for some groups, such as disabled people and people from poorer backgrounds. ‘The report highlights mental ill-health as a key challenge. Another challenge is to improve living conditions in communities to address significant inequalities in housing conditions and living standards. Other areas requiring significant improvement are preventing abuse, neglect and ill-treatment in care and detention and eliminating violence, harassment and abuse in the community. ‘We have opportunities to make progress in Wales and we will be publishing a Wales report in December. We want to see political parties responding to the challenges set by the evidence we are presenting. The EHRC has a crucial role in ensuring our evidence is a catalyst for change but everyone has an important part to play in achieving a fairer Wales."
Last updated: 01 Jul 2016