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Equality and Human Rights Commission

Volume 706: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Equality and Human Rights Commission has established a race committee; and, if not, what steps it will take to prioritise race equality. [HL362]

Under the Equality Act 2006, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is required to have three statutory advisory committees, for Scotland, Wales and Disability. As the EHRC covers seven protected areas of equality and also human rights, it would not be practical to have additional non-statutory advisory committees to cover its other remit areas.

However, as part of its developing stakeholder engagement strategy, the EHRC is looking at establishing core networks of stakeholders from the different equality areas to meet, on an advisory basis, at regular intervals throughout the year. This will include a network looking at race issues. More details on this proposal will be published in the spring.

Specific work the EHRC is doing to prioritise race equality includes working with the Prison Service to tackle race inequality in prisons, investigating the impact of social housing allocation on community cohesion and good relations between people from different racial groups, a major assessment of the state of policing and race equality in England, Scotland and Wales, including the differential use of stop and search powers, and the Young Brits at Art competition, designed to help schools and youth centres deal with difference and diversity in an entertaining and accessible way.