Many of the areas identified by the United Nations disability committee where regression of Disabled people’s rights are taking place are socio-economic. Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 that has never been implemented would place a duty on all public bodies to assess the socio-economic impact of all policy decisions. This would add an important protection against further regression of Disabled people’s rights and is something that Deaf and Disabled people called for in our submissions under the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this year. The Scottish government has already announced an intention to bring Section 1 into force in Scotland and the human rights consortium Just Fair has launched the #1forEquality campaign to make Section 1 a reality across Britain.
Please write to your MP asking them to sign Early Day Motion 591 in support of a socio-economic duty and send us copies of any responses you receive.
For more information about Just Fair’s #1forEquality campaign see: https://1forequality.com/
Below is some text you may wish to use for your letter:
As you know, income and wealth inequalities are severe problems in our country. Abundant evidence shows that inequality harms our physical and mental health, self-esteem, happiness, social mobility, trust and civic participation, and puts the enjoyment of human rights at risk.
The Equality Act 2010 was a significant step forward in tackling social inequalities in our society. Chief amongst its instruments was the Socio-economic Duty (Section 1), which would require public bodies ‘when making decisions of a strategic nature about how to exercise [their] functions’ to ‘have due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage’.
Unfortunately, to this day Section 1 remains one of the few uncommenced clauses of The Equality Act 2010.
The Socio-economic Duty offers a powerful lever for reducing the damaging gaps between us all.
In this regard, we urge you to consider supporting EDM 591 on the commencement and enforcement of the Socio-Economic Duty.