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New Commission for Equality and Human Rights Starts Work

----- Original Message -----

From: "Christine Burns" <c_burns@btinternet.com>

To: "'Press for Change News Distribution'" <pfc-news@lists.pfc.org.uk>

Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 11:31 PM

Subject: UK: New Commission for Equality and Human Rights Starts Work

 ===============================

New Commission for Equality and Human Rights Starts Work

Christine Burns

===============================

 The new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) opens its doors today, replacing the existing separate commissions for gender equality (EOC), racial equality (CRE) and disabled people's rights (DRC). You'll find its' new web site at: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

 The new commission has been left some significant challenges by old bodies, intent on ensuring their legacy. See this report by the BBC:

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7016445.stm

 The new chief executive, Nicola Brewer, will also have found a challenge in her first proper day's post today from Peter Baker, Chief Executive of the Men's Health Forum, demanding that CEHR should take immediate steps to ensure NHS PCTs comply with the law and publish Gender Equality Schemes. He points out,

"... public sector organisations were required to publish a

     gender equality scheme by the end of April 2007. In late-July,

     we surveyed every PCT in England (152 in total) and found that

     only 60% had published a final scheme. The failure of 40% of

     PCTs to publish a scheme on schedule is clearly a major obstacle

     to the achievement of gender equality in the NHS."

 He adds,

"...We also looked at the content of the schemes that were

     published to see whether they followed the code of practice.

     In most respects, they all failed to do so. 44% of published

     schemes did not mention any consultation process; just one PCT

     included gender-disaggregated data in relation to the use of

     health services locally; only five PCTs included gender-disaggregated

     data in relation to local health outcomes; one scheme set an objective

     to ensure that all data is collected and used in a gender-disaggregated

     form in the future; two schemes included a section addressing the

     specific needs of women and one scheme did so for men; [..]

     ...Overall, the majority of schemes put more emphasis on internal

     process than the achievement of outcomes that would improve the health

     of men and women

 The NHS (Europe's largest organisation) was already being formally investigated by the Commission for Racial Equality for shortcomings over race and ethnic issue, so it will be interesting to see how the CEHR tackles the apparently casual attitude of PCT's towards their statutory obligations in yet another major area.

 The sanctions available are significant -- ultimately Trust chairs and Chief Executives can be removed from post for non-compliance with public sector Equality and Human Rights obligations. It remains to be seen whether any ever are.

 Meanwhile, a feature of the new CEHR web site is the "Speakers Corner", where you and I are invited to comment on a range of equality and human rights issues. See

 http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/newsandcomment/speakerscorner/Pages/SpeakerCorner.aspx

 Please take that opportunity to join in and ensure trans people are never far froim CEHR's thoughts.

 And, lastly, I would commend the following article by Tom Shakespeare, "Tell Me Another", which will doubtless have a great deal of resonance for anyone who has ever dealt with the UK's media on trans issues...

 http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/newsandcomment/speakerscorner/Pages/Tellmeanother.aspx

 Happy reading

 Christine



Changeling AspectsIn affiliation with Agender-(Aust) & Transbridge-(Townsville)

We are based in South East Qld, in Australia About Us  ... Contact Us    ( Most Art above are extracts from the Art of Maxfield Parrish )

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