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In February, we submitted evidence to the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into ‘The role of the [UK Government Equalities Office] GEO: embedding equalities across Government’. We respond to the following points in the call for evidence

  • The UK Government Equalities Office’s role in supporting compliance with international obligations including the UN Conventions and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
  • The Government Equalities Office’s role in highlighting the numerous equalities issues which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In our submission, we consider the extent to which the Government Equalities Office is delivering on its responsibilities: to improve equality and reduce discrimination and disadvantage for all in the UK; take the lead on the Equality Act 2010; and support and implement international equality measures in the UK, including the UK’s international commitments.  

We draw upon our research which shows that specific individuals and groups of individuals across the UK are facing economic, social and cultural rights violations, and this is being exacerbated by governmental and societal responses to the pandemic.  

Against this background, our submission is two-fold. First, we explain that the Government Equalities Office is legally obliged to protect, respect and fulfil economic, social and cultural rights, as required under UN Conventions, and this includes compliance with the SDGs. Second, we urge the Government Equalities Office to support enactment and enforcement of the socio-economic duty contained in Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010. 

Read our full written submission here

Find out more about our research and campaign work on the socio-economic duty here

Get in touch with us ‘[email protected]’.