Government moves to standardise equality policing under one commission

A single equality and human rights commission will be set up in 2007, the government is expected to confirm today.

The legislation is unlikely to make it on to the statute book before the general election – as revealed in Personnel Today last month – but the Bill’s publication confirms the government’s commitment to press ahead with the single equality monitoring body.

The new commission will bring together the responsibilities of the Equal Opportunities and Disability Rights Commissions in October 2007, and then merge with the Commission for Racial Equality two years later.

It will also be responsible for the policing anti-discrimination regulations in respect of age, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.

It is also expected to be the first UK body to have an official duty to promote human rights.

The proposals have been criticised as being poorly thought-out, and will be subject to an official review, led by CRE chairman, Trevor Phillips.

The review will also attempt to “provide an understanding of the long-term and underlying causes of disadvantage”.

It will work alongside a DTI departmental review to modernise the UK’s 30-year-old equalities laws.

It will report to the prime minister, Tony Blair, by next summer.

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