Just over a week ago yet another report was published by one of the many organisations that publishes reports in our nation. No doubt many of these reports lie on dusty shelves, but this report deserves special attention and it has the potential to improve society for the better. The report is called ‘Is Britain Fairer’ and it was published on 30th October by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The significance of this report is that it has been published 50 years since the Race Relations Act, 40 years since the Sex Discrimination Act, 20 years since the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and 5 years since the Equality Act which combined all equality enactments, including the DDA, simplifying and strengthening the law to help tackle discrimination and inequality. The report itself appears to suggest that all of these Laws have had some impact on our society and that in general Britain in 2015 is a great deal fairer than the Britain of 1965, a year I can recall as the first year we obtained a television, so a watershed year for a child of the 1960’s. I know that my own attitudes have changed significantly in that time and they continue to be challenged as they have been by this report. I am grateful for all of these pieces of legislation in their time but recognise we have a long way to go. There are 8 steps contained within the report which provide a useful focus for all people who wish to see society made more accessible for all of us. I hope that all Political Parties and public sector organisations will adopt these steps in their policies. The eight steps are listed below:
- Improve the evidence and the ability to assess how fair society is.
- Raise standards and close attainment gaps in education.
- Encourage fair recruitment, development and reward in employment.
- Support improved living conditions in cohesive communities.
- Encourage democratic participation and ensure access to justice.
- Improve access to mental health services and support for those experiencing (or at risk of experiencing) poor mental health.
- Prevent abuse, neglect and ill-treatment in care and detention.
- Tackle targeted harassment and abuse of people who share particular protected characteristics.
No more needs to be said.