Commission launches ambitious programme to promote equality and human rights in Britain

Published: 10 May 2016

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has today launched its Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2019, setting out an ambitious programme to challenge discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and protect and promote human rights in Britain.

The plan prioritises specific areas of work to address a range of important issues that will make a real difference to life in Britain. Key priorities include:

  • improving access to justice and the treatment of certain groups within the criminal justice system
  • tackling the issues faced by particular groups who experience low employment rates, over-representation in low-pay sectors, pay gaps or poor treatment at work
  • tackling identity-based hostility, abuse and hate crime and protecting rights to dignity and respect
  • examining the impact of welfare reform on people sharing certain protected characteristics, and on disabled people in particular
  • addressing challenges faced by disabled people including the implications of changes to funding for independent living on the right to a home
  • using our legal powers to tackle serious breaches of rights and to support or take cases which will clarify the law
  • fulfilling our role as Britain’s ‘A’ status National Human Rights Institution and reporting to the United Nations on the UK Government’s performance on international human rights treaties, and
  • analysing and responding to any Government proposals to change human rights legislation

Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission David Isaac said:

'The Commission must be a strong and independent expert body that drives change to make Britain fairer, tackles discrimination, and promotes equality of opportunity and human rights. This Strategic Plan sets out an ambitious programme of work over the next three years that will improve the lives of people across Britain. It underlines our commitment to bring about change and puts a particular emphasis on driving further improvements where national governments must do more to deliver the speed of progress required. The Commission will continue to work with other organisations and individuals to secure change, but is also ready to take tough action against those who abuse the rights of others.'

Launching the plan, Chief Executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said:

"The Commission has an important role and unique legal powers that enable us to make a difference to British society. In the last three years, we have taken more than 80 legal actions; carried out the first major inquiry into non-natural deaths of adults with mental health conditions detained in prisons, hospitals and police stations; worked with police forces and supported training on the excessive and disproportionate use of stop and search against young ethnic minority men; and carried out the most comprehensive review of progress on equality and human rights in Britain, 'Is Britain Fairer?’. "We’ve come a long way but there’s still a huge amount to do to end discrimination and to win the fight for equality and human rights. Our Strategic Plan sets out how we intend to make Britain fairer by promoting equality of opportunity, dignity and respect."

Notes to editors

For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 0161 829 8102, out of office hours 07767 272 818.

Press contact details

For more press information contact the Commission's media office on:

0161 829 8102