Commission sets out LGB equality priorities
"People are being treated differently in Northern Ireland because of their sexual orientation and that cannot be acceptable in the 21st century," states Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission in an online interview.
Outlining the priorities for change, which are set out in the Commission´s new policy paper ´Promoting Sexual Orientation Equality´ he adds: "We are calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to deliver a robust and comprehensive sexual orientation strategy"
The paper outlines three key areas requiring strategic action and these are: tackling prejudicial attitudes; promoting positive attitudes and raising awareness of rights. It recommends that legislation should be introduced to permit same sex marriage and adoption and that a ban on blood donations from any group, including men who have sex with men, must be based on clear medical evidence.
Mr Wardlow added: “ We want to hear from anyone who has experienced discrimination in accessing goods and services or employment. We are here to help.”
Download the report (39 pages):
Commission sets draft policy priorities for racial equality
The Commission has held a series of engagement events with the BME sector to discuss its draft policy priorities for racial equality. Work is currently underway to revise and finalise our policy positions.
Effectiveness of the Disability Duties: Review Report
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (“the Commission”) has a statutory duty to prepare and publish a report on the effectiveness of the disability duties by 1 January 2010 (3 years after the implementation of the legislation).
The review report and information on the launch event can be downloaded using the links below.
The Disability Duties:
As part of a series of changes to the Disability Discrimination Act (1995), the ‘disability duties‘ on public authorities came into effect on 1 January 2007. These duties require public authorities, when exercising their functions, to have due regard to the need to:
- to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people, and
- to encourage participation by disabled people in public life.
The Review Report:
The review report provides an evaluation of progress to date by public authorities and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in implementing the disability duties.
The review report draws on the Commission’s experience of implementing the duties and on external research entitled “Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Disability Discrimination (NI) Order 2006 Duties”, contracted by the Commission in 2009.
The review sets outs the Commission’s proposed recommendations for public authorities and the Commission in response to the evaluation and the Commission’s next steps.
Download the review report (40 pages):
Publication date: 23 Dec 2009
Report highlighting issues and challenges resulting from the recent rapid rise in migrants to Northern Ireland
The Equality Commission has released a new report which highlights the issues and challenges that have come about due to the recent rapid rise in migrants to Northern Ireland. Click here to read the report.
New migrants add to the existing diversity of the Northern Ireland population, but their presence also presents new challenges with respect to policies designed to confront the high levels of segregation within the majority population and build a more integrated and cohesive society.
Unfortunately, public policies and strategies have not always kept up with, or anticipated, this new environment. There has been a lack of strategic preparation by government, employers, and service providers for dealing with the additional needs and expectations of these new communities.
This report’s key aims are:
- to outline the recent and forecast trends in changes to demographics in Northern Ireland and their economic impact
- to identify issues related to the effective integration of an increasingly diverse population
- to stimulate the policy response and identify key actionable public policy recommendations for Government, public authorities and other relevant agencies on how to plan creatively for a more diverse Northern Ireland .
It makes a number of recommendations for public policy, including for the forthcoming Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration for a Shared and Better Future, in relation to the impact of economic policies, monitoring, language policy, and the inclusion of community and voluntary sector in policy development.