The British Humanist Association (BHA) has responded to today’s publication of the report of parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) on the effectiveness of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The BHA served on the government’s steering group when the EHRC was being developed in 2007 and submitted evidence to the JCHR on this issue. The JCHR report criticises the work of the EHRC since its inception and makes several strong recommendations to improve both the activities and reputation of the public body.
Andrew Copson, BHA Chief Executive, commented, ‘To equalities and human rights organisations like the BHA the report makes difficult reading. Our own evidence to the JCHR focused on the fact that the EHRC has failed to include non-religious issues fully in its work. The Commission acknowledges discrimination against certain religious groups, while at the same time refusing to take seriously issues affecting non-religious people, such as discriminatory admissions into state-funded faith schools. We are also concerned that the Commission has taken a weak and muddled approach in dealing with issues around lesbian and gay equality and human rights, and “faith”.’
‘While the report suggests that the EHRC is a missed opportunity so far, it still has great potential to be the keystone of equality and human rights work in this country. We will continue to be involved with the Commissions work as key stakeholders representing the interests of non-religious people.’
For further information or comment please contact Andrew Copson, please contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248596.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief.