Equalities watchdog launches online human rights resource for public sector PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 August 2011 15:04

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has unveiled an online resource about human rights to help public sector bodies in England and Wales and organisations carrying out public functions and advocacy.

The resource covers nine areas: adult social care; children's services; health; housing; education services; local government; criminal justice; courts and prisons; policing, and immigration and asylum.

The EHRC has also outlined a number of common and recurring themes from the guidance “that should be applicable to everyone”: They are:

  • Positive obligations: “The Human Rights Act means that all public authorities have an obligation to ensure that people's rights are respected in all that they do”
  • Human rights as an aid to decision making: “Human rights principles can strengthen decision-making at both corporate and service levels and help to prevent service failure,” the EHRC said. “Human rights can provide an important 'check and balance' – helping to determine proportionate action, especially where the interests of different parties conflict”
  • Proportionality: “The principle of proportionality is at the heart of a human rights framework,” the Commission argued. “This can be summarised as 'not using a sledgehammer to crack a nut'. It ensures that any restriction of a person's human rights is kept to a minimum”
  • Assessing and managing risk: “Human rights can be used to ensure that risk management practice is lawful, balances the interests of all those involved, and is proportionate,” the EHRC said. Human rights can be infringed when public authorities are excessively risk averse as well as when they fail to act to prevent risk, it added
  • User and public involvement: “The inclusion of service users, is an essential part of a human rights based approach”
  • Equality and good relations: “Viewing equality issues through a human rights lens can help to shift the emphasis from negative compliance to positive cultural change”
  • Building a human rights culture: “Leadership, senior level commitment and engagement, and effective training in human rights principles and practice are fundamental to any organisation committed to compliance with the Human Rights Act.”

The EHRC’s 29 pieces of guidance bring together learning materials about the human rights obligations of the public sector and how to successfully implement them. “These materials include tried and tested examples of how to consider human rights in public service delivery as well as case studies, informal guidance, inspection standards and impact assessments,” it said.

The Commission has also included materials on supporting the human rights of particular groups such as older and disabled people and refugees and asylum seekers.

There are summaries of each publication to highlight the key human rights messages and other essential information. These were produced by the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute at London Metropolitan University.

Philip Hoult

 

Latest News

April 17, 2014

Council hails success of police officers it funds to tackle anti-social behaviour

A team of 44 Metropolitan Police officers funded by a London council to tackle anti-social behaviour have closed 18 crack houses and 43 brothels in the last 12 months. Read more
April 08, 2014

Boroughs create tool to assess alcohol-related health and crime data

Two London councils have developed a tool to assess alcohol-related health and crime data, allowing them to link public health priorities with licensing objectives for the first time. Read more
April 08, 2014

Termination of licence to operate soup kitchen was unlawful: High Court

A High Court judge has ruled that a local authority’s decision to terminate a charity’s licence to operate a ‘soup kitchen’ at one of the council’s car parks was unlawful. Read more
April 01, 2014

Law firm launches social housing litigation boutique with senior hires

An international business law firm has hired two senior lawyers to head up a specialist social housing litigation boutique. Read more

 

Features

Anti-Social 2 iStock 000001684994XSmall 146x219
April 10, 2014

Anti-social Behaviour Bill – nearly there!

Alex Loxton highlights some key issues on the pending anti-social behaviour reforms. Read more
House key iStock 000004543619XSmall 146x219
March 20, 2014

Article 8 - a chink in the landlord’s armour?

Leon Glenister examines an important Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the dismissal of possession proceedings on human rights grounds. Read more
March 20, 2014

Business Against Crime schemes: second bite

Licensing authorities looking to encourage business crime reduction schemes can take comfort from a High Court ruling, writes Philip Kolvin QC. Read more
March 20, 2014

(Probably) the first group action for damages under the Data Protection Act

In December 2013 a group legal action was settled against a London borough following breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. Anna Thwaites, who acted for the claimants, explains the legal basis for the claims. Read more

 

Older news and features

March 13, 2014

A licence to busk

November 21, 2013

Losing your Mojoe?

Click here for full section archive

Now Previewing on LGL.tv: Preparation for Trial (Click on bottom right of screen for full size.)

Featured Jobs


CLICK HERE to search all current vacancies

Featured Courses & Events

50% off LGLtv subscriptions

Sign up for Courses and Events Updates

* indicates required

Services v2

Yellow pages iStock 000009762383XSmall cropTo access details of individual advertisers, please click on the relevant banner below.

To search all entries in the Local Government Lawyer Services Directory, please click here

 

 


 Shout_to_the_top_looking_left_iStock_000006002590XSmall_98x74 Latest Blog Posts

 

 


 

Ballot_iStock_000006080605XSmall_thumb

Snap Judgement

Is the role of monitoring officer worth the risk?