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Latest 14 June 2022

Human rights are for everyone

Jacob Lund / Adobe Stock

Stonewall and Disabled People Against Cuts, convened by Good Law Project, and with more than 30 other civil society organisations as signatories, have sent submissions to the UN body that oversees national human rights institutions, GANHRI, about the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The submissions are pursuant to a ‘regular’ review initiated by GANHRI following submissions made by Stonewall and Good Law Project earlier this year that pointed out the increasing politicisation of human rights under the EHRC’s controversial new Chair, Baroness Falkner. The submissions note that the conduct of the EHRC, and its relationship with the Government, no longer meet many of the criteria of an A status institution.

This is in large part due to the failings of the UK Government to provide the EHRC with adequate statutory powers, an independent appointments process and sufficient funding, and the failings of its leadership to work effectively with civil society organisations. These together have had a severe impact on the EHRC’s ability and its motivation to effectively and independently perform its mandate to protect and promote human rights.

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The result is that the EHRC has become a cheerleader for the Government rather than an independent monitor. As such, it no longer deserves the vaunted A status, or the prestige that come with it.

These failures have had, and continue to have, real-world consequences for marginalised and excluded groups throughout the UK, including in particular people with disabilities and the trans community.

For the EHRC to retain its A status gaslights those communities whose dignities it now undermines. The letter, and accompanying submissions, calls on GANHRI to recognise the reality that now exists.

You can read the letter in full here.

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