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How fair is Britain?
Wednesday 13 October 2010
EHRC review highlights the gap between the government's vision for equality and reality
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) this week published its first triennial review, 'How fair is Britain?' Every three years, the EHRC is required to report to parliament on the progress that society is making in the areas of equality, human rights and good relations.
'How fair is Britain?' exposes gaps between the government's vision for people with a learning disability, and the day-to-day reality. For example, the conviction rate for racially or religiously aggravated, transphobic or homophobic hate crimes are rising. However, the conviction rate for disability hate crime fell by 1% between 2007/08 and 2008/09.
Mencap's chief executive, Mark Goldring, said that the figures are worrying, especially since the number of disability hate crime cases that reach court are already low, compared to other incidents of hate crime.
"A lack of understanding of learning disability by authorities has meant disabled hate crime cases are not being given the same priority as other incidents of hate crime," he said.
The review also shows that just 27% of people with a life-long illness or disability have confidence in the criminal justice system meeting the needs of the victim.
The EHRC's review also highlights the inequalities in employment opportunities for people with a learning disability. While around half of all disabled people have paid employment, less than 7% of people with a learning disability have a job.
"Stigma and prejudice remain one of the biggest barriers to employment for people with a learning disability," said Mark Goldring. "The government needs to actively engage with employers in order to ensure that people with a learning disability are given a fair chance in the workplace."
Read the EHRC's triennial review