The British Government: Keep the Public Sector Equality Duty
Do you care about public services treating disabled people, women, black and ethnic minority people, older people, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people equally? Are you or your family affected by discriminatory stop and search practices, by not being able to get into college or hospital buildings or by ‘one size fits all’ services that don’t meet your needs?
The Public Sector Equality Duty is the only law designed to tackle institutional discrimination and make sure public services meet everyone’s needs. It’s a legacy of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry which found institutional racism in the police was to blame for the botched murder investigation.
But within one year of the Equality Duty coming in to force the Government is reviewing it. We could lose the only law that challenges institutional discrimination and makes public bodies deliver services that meet everyone’s needs. Please join us in telling the Government that the Equality Duty matters!
Doreen Lawrence and Richard Stone wrote to you in November 2012 asking you to ensure that the legacy of Stephen Lawrence's murder and the subsequent inquiry should not be forgotten. One of the legacies of this dreadful crime were the wider discussions about institutional racism and discrimination and the Public Sector Equality Duty that was established in 2011 to challenge such discrimination. We are therefore concerned that the Government is already seeking to review the operation of the PSED and we are concerned that this vital legal instrument may be watered down or even lost as a result.
I am therefore writing to you to put on record our strong support for the Public Sector Equality Duty. The PSED is increasingly being seen as a model of good practice and commitment to equality both in the UK and beyond.
We urge you to ensure that its provisions are maintained and strengthened and that the results of the review are in line with your stated commitments to challenging discrimination and promoting equalities.