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Annie Hayes

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Single body to represent equality and human rights

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Announced yesterday during the Queen’s speech was the news that a single equalities commission will be created replacing the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Disability Rights Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality.

The organisation will promote equality and human rights as well as tackle discrimination on grounds of age, religion and sexual orientation and will also provide a single point of contact where individuals, businesses and other organisations may get information and guidance on anti-discrimination legislation.

Julie Mellor, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission said:

“Government has listened carefully to many views and as a result the proposals for creation of a Commission for Equality and Human Rights now emerging are much stronger. It is the right decision to create a single institution. This single body will help deliver the real essence of our equality legislation – which is to make sure that no one’s opportunities in life are limited by who they are or by their background.”

In an official statement the CRE who will remain independent for another four to five years said:

“The CRE is particularly pleased that the Government has listened to the strong representations we made, along with The Muslim Council of Britain and others, for a new law that would outlaw religious discrimination. It is a disgrace that even today, anyone could post a sign outside a hotel or restaurant anywhere in the UK that says ‘No Muslims Admitted’ and that it would be perfectly legal. The proposed legislation will outlaw this.”

Disabled people will also gain more rights under a Discrimination Bill.

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Annie Hayes

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