Research

Reports

Tackling Socio-economic Inequalities Locally:

Good practices in the implementation of the socio-economic duty by local authorities in England

June 2018

The extent of wealth and income inequality is of widespread concern in England; yet there is no national policy agenda focused specifically on tackling disadvantage caused by socio-economic inequality, whether by reducing poverty or promoting inclusive growth. Since the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017, the focus on the national picture has extended to local authorities.

This research explores how a selected number of English local authorities are tackling socio-economic disadvantage. It also examines how a legally enforceable duty in the form of section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 would support this endeavour.

This research involved desktop research and interviews with (among others) 20 individuals in seven local authorities: the Metropolitan Boroughs of Manchester, Newcastle, Oldham and Wigan; the Unitary Authorities of Bristol City and City of York; and the London Borough Council of Islington. Contact was purposefully pursued with authorities that would provide examples across council type, geographical location and political control.

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Going Hungry? The Human Right to Food in the UK

This report analyses state action and assesses the UK’s compliance with the duty to secure the human right to adequate food. In terms of structure, we start by outlining the key elements of the human right to food, as defined under international human rights law, before proceeding to examine whether the UK is in compliance with its duties in terms of that right. The final part of the report sets out recommendations which, if implemented, would enhance the State’s compliance with its international obligations in relation to the right to food.

As this report concludes, the UK is in breach of a range of obligations imposed by the international human right to food.

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We are extremely grateful to the organisations that provide funding for our vital monitoring and advocacy work: Barrow Cadbury Trust, Clifford Chance Foundation, Henry Tinsley Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Network for Social Change.

See press coverage for the report:

The Independent

Daily Mirror

Huffington Post

ITV News

Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the rights of disabled people in the austerity era

A report published on 6 July 2014 by Just Fair finds that the UK government is in breach of its legal obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of disabled people. 

The report is the first comprehensive analysis of the extent to which the UK government is meeting its international obligations to realise the rights of disabled people in the austerity era. It examines the rights to independent living, work, social security, social protection and an adequate standard of living.

Combining legal analysis with testimony-based evidence, the report concludes that government policies are compromising disabled people’s enjoyment of these fundamental rights, causing significant hardship.

The report – Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the rights of disabled people in the austerity era – analyses the impact on disabled people of public austerity and the reform of social security.

Evidence: Evidence and case studies from disabled people and people with a long term health condition were provided via an online survey or sent directly to Just Fair. Three areas of social security policy were of concern to the greatest number of those who responded: * Employment and Support Allowance (long term sickness benefit) and the Work Capability Assessment, * Personal Independence Payment (for support with disability-related costs), and * The housing benefit size criteria for claimants in social housing (reduced housing support for households with a ‘spare’ bedroom).

Please find the survey results and anonymised case studies below.

Acknowledgments: This report was authored by Jane Young. Aoife Nolan authored Chapter 2 and provided input throughout the report. Neil Crowther provided advice and support. Alice Donald provided editorial and overall support.

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We are extremely grateful to the organisations that provide funding for our vital monitoring and advocacy work: Barrow Cadbury Trust, Clifford Chance Foundation, Henry Tinsley Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Network for Social Change.

Supporting documents

Summary

Easy Read

Case Studies

Online Survey: Part 1, Part 2, Excel version

Protecting the Right to Housing in England: A Context of Crisis

Just Fair is pleased to publish the third report in a series of reports that will form the basis of the Just Fair Consortium’s Parallel Report to the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

England is experiencing a housing crisis. Exceptionally high numbers of people are homeless, or vulnerable to homelessness. The current housing environment is characterised by profound issues of lack of supply, high and further increasing housing costs, lack of security of tenure, and homes of such poor quality that they are unfit for habitation. These issues plague all of England’s main housing tenure types: the owner occupied, the private rental, and the social housing sector. Housing insecurity affects not only people on low incomes, but broad swathes of the English population, who currently live in situations of insecurity and uncertainty.

In this context of crisis, the government is failing to meet its obligations to ensure the right to housing of its population, so that everyone can enjoy a standard of living in homes that are adequate, safe, and secure.

The report focuses in particular on homelessness and conditions in the private rented sector. We are delighted that Dr. Jessie Hohmann, who is a leading academic on the human right to housing, has authored the report in conjunction with those Consortium members with a particular interest in this field.

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Submission From Just Fair on a Bill of Rights for the UK

This submission will consist of four parts and focuses on what we believe any future UK Bill of Rights should contain. First, we address the enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) in the UK under the law as it currently stands. Second, we consider a number of common misunderstandings about the impact of enshrining justiciable ESCR. Part three highlights a number of possible approaches to the inclusion of ESCR in a Bill of Rights for the UK. Finally, we outline possible models of justiciable ESCR.

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UN to Investigate whether Austerity Breaches International Human Rights

Representatives from Just Fair met with the CESCR on 14 October 2015 to highlight concerns that successive UK government policies have led to violations of  the  right  to  food, housing, adequate healthcare for migrants and people with mental health problems, and the economic and social rights of disabled people.

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UN to Investigate whether Austerity Breaches International Human Rights

Just Fair has made a new submission to the UN body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The submission sets out evidence that the UK is failing to comply with its obligations under the Covenant in respect of, among others, the right to social security and the right to an adequate standard of living, including food and housing. Just Fair also highlights multiple concerns about the economic and social rights of disabled people.

Click below to read Just Fair’s  submission to CESCRS List of Issues on the UK and Northern Ireland.

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