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Our strategy

Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan sets out how we will deliver against our statutory remit. Through a series of Strategic Aims, it outlines how we will tackle key challenges identified in our 2015 review of Britain's progress towards equality and human rights protection, 'Is Britain Fairer?'.

We are required to review our Strategic Plan every three years, after consulting a wide variety of stakeholders.

Strategic Aims for 2016-19

1. Significant impact – to secure advances in equality and human rights in priority areas
2. A strong evidence base – to provide authoritative evidence and insight
3. Sustainable infrastructure – to ensure an effective and sustainable infrastructure to protect rights in practice
4. Improved capability – to be an expert, independent and authoritative national body

Business Plan

The Strategic Plan sets the framework for our annual Business Plan. This sets out the work we will do in the year ahead to deliver on our strategy. In 2016/17, our work programmes include:

Improving access to justice and treatment in the criminal justice system

Rights and legal protections are of no value unless people have access to justice when they are breached. We will use our strategic litigation powers to challenge new employment tribunal fees, highlight the impact of legal aid restrictions on disabled prisoners, and improve the experiences of children and other vulnerable people in the criminal justice system.

Promoting political participation and freedom of expression, and safeguarding privacy

Political decision-making has a direct impact on our lives and, as such, we all have a right to influence this. We will work with partners to address emerging concerns about restrictions on freedom of expression in higher education institutions and monitor developments in data privacy, surveillance and counter-extremism.

Promoting equality in routes into work, fair treatment at work and fair opportunities for progression

Ensuring that people have the opportunity to participate to their full potential in the labour market means they can be financially independent and that business can make the best use of talent.

We will promote the recommendations of our research on pregnancy and maternity at work, develop a new strategic approach to tackling gender, disability and race pay gaps and promote lawful actions to improve the diversity of boards.

Tackling prejudice and reducing identity-based violence

Everyone has the right to be free from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and a right to dignity.

We will help to develop a more integrated approach across the criminal justice system to prevent and tackle hate crime. We will continue working with public bodies to improve their approach to preventing and responding to disability-related harassment.

Standard of living and personal autonomy

Everyone has a right to an adequate standard of living, including a minimum entitlement to food, clothing and housing. We will commission an assessment on whether changes to the welfare system have affected equality of opportunity and the human rights of people who share certain protected characteristics. We will also launch an inquiry into housing for disabled people and continue to press for changes to secure disabled people’s access to bus and rail services, taxis, and right to fair treatment when travelling by air.

Last updated: 17 Oct 2016