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Is Britain Fairer 2015?

The state of equality and human rights 2015

The Equality Act 2006 gave the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) the duty to report regularly on the extent to which equality and human rights are improving in Britain. We published How fair is Britain? (a review of equality) in 2010, followed by the Human Rights Review in 2012.

This, in 2015, is our first report on progress. We hope that this report will be of value to policy makers and influencers across all sectors. Our purpose is to report our findings, set out the challenges for the future, and invite those who have the statutory responsibilities or an interest in these areas to address the issues by identifying and implementing the necessary solutions. We do not speculate on the impact of proposed future legislative or policy changes, nor do we try to explain the causes of differences, or set policy solutions.

We have gathered data and evidence based around 10 domains: education; standard of living; productive and valued activities; health; life; physical security; legal security; individual, family and social life; identity, expression and self-respect; and participation, influence and voice. Within each of these domains, there is a set of indicators and measures that we have used in order to evaluate progress. Produced in parallel with this report are 10 detailed evidence papers (one for each domain), available on our website.

When deciding what (from the 10 evidence papers) to include in this report, we used three criteria:

  • the degree to which there has been change over time
  • the proportion of the specific population group that the issue affects, and
  • the scale of impact on life chances.

The quantitative evidence we used draws from major surveys and administrative data compiled by public bodies. Given the time lag between gathering the data and analysing and checking it, most of our core quantitative data covers the period from 2008 to 2013. This has been supplemented by some more recent data drawn from other published analysis that meets our strict criteria. The qualitative data we used is more recent and includes reports by inspectorates and regulators, international organisations, parliamentary committees, the UK and devolved governments, and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).