In 2013 the States approved, in principle, the establishment of an Equality and Rights Organisation subject to the development and approval of a business plan, and having funding and prioritisation in place.
Unfortunately in March 2020, due to the pressures of resources (funding) and the prioritisation of views an Independent ERO has been scrapped. This would have worked to Promote, Protect and Monitor islanders rights. It was also the body for raising awareness, key to a change in culture. We are disappointed that the business groups G4 have not fully supported the Equality Body as it would significantly benefit small, medium sized businesses (providing information, best practice guides, etc).
What is an Equality and Rights Organisation (ERO)?
From the original proposals:
An ERO is a statutory body designed to help foster a culture of equality, inclusion, diversity and human rights and reduce discrimination.
The States’ Resolution calls for Guernsey’s ERO to be developed in alignment with the Paris Principles, which are UN-adopted guidelines on the status and functions of human rights institutions.
More than 120 countries now have national human rights institutions and/or equality bodies, including the UK, Ireland and small island jurisdictions such as the Overseas Territories of Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
According to the Paris Principles, EROs should have independent status.
The Paris Principles provide for a range of possible functions for EROs, which may or may not include:
- Conducting awareness-raising and education on issues relating to equality, inclusion, diversity and human rights. Acting as an accessible, expert point of contact for enquiries from individuals and others on these issues.
- Advising individuals, businesses, government and other organisations as to their rights and responsibilities, and best practice, on these issues.
- Supporting the effective operation of discrimination laws, including producing Codes of Practice.
- Facilitating the informal resolution of discrimination complaints and referring cases to adjudication bodies or courts if necessary.
- Conducting enquiries into systemic discrimination issues.
- Issuing compliance orders.
- Monitoring, researching and publishing findings in relation to equality.
- Producing annual reports.
- Encouraging government’s compliance with international conventions.
More information on the development of the Equality and Rights Organisation can be found by following the links below:
If you would like to find out more or share your views regarding equality in Guernsey, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01481 732546.