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Humanists UK calls upon Equality and Human Rights Commission to tackle religious discrimination

Humanists UK has submitted a response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) consultation on its strategic plan for 2019 to 2022 calling for it to prioritise tackling religious discrimination, especially in employment, education, criminal justice, and marriage law.

Every three years the EHRC publishes a strategic plan which sets out its overarching goals and priorities. As the national statutory body for safeguarding and enforcing equality and human rights in England, Scotland, and Wales, its priorities set the tone for the equality sector as a whole.

The EHRC is set to prioritise improving access to justice, removing barriers to opportunity for disadvantaged groups, and protecting the rights of the vulnerable. Religious discrimination cuts across all of these priority aims. Therefore, Humanists UK has called for the EHRC to take steps to address such discrimination including the disparity in the treatment of asylum claimants who are seeking asylum because they are non-religious, discrimination in admission criteria and employment practices in state-funded schools, and to ensure equal provision of pastoral support services in the NHS and prison service.

Humanists UK’s Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan commented, ‘For far too long religious discrimination has permeated our society, creating barriers for the non-religious and religious minorities to accessing justice and receiving equal treatment. We believe that the overarching aims of the EHRC’s strategic plan dovetail with our work in challenging unfair religious discrimination and we hope to work closely and productively with the EHRC on these issues.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan on rachel@humanism.org.uk or 07951 176 245.

Read more about our campaign work on human rights: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/human-rights-and-equality/

Read our response to the EHRC’s consultation: https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018-12-12-RTR-EHRC-Strategic-Plan-2019-2022-public-consumption-version.pdf

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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