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Equality and Human Rights Commission. Equality and human rights: inter-actions with poverty and social exclusion. Privatisation of public services. Aim: to increase competition, to lower prices and increase the variety of services and the efficiency of production processes.
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Equality and Human Rights Commission Equality and human rights: inter-actions with poverty and social exclusion
Privatisation of public services Aim: to increase competition, to lower prices and increase the variety of services and the efficiency of production processes. Challenge: the most vulnerable social groups may be denied or have limited access to these basic public services. Response: adopt universal service policies to complement the developing of competition.
Definition of public service Brendan Martin, 4 options: • Service that is offered to the general public • A service that has been assigned a specific role in the public interest • The ownership or status of the entity providing the service • A specific requirements imposed by public authorities on the service provider in order to ensure that certain public interest objectives are met.
The Human Rights Act and the definition of public authority Purpose of the Act: to make sure that all bodies that carry out public functions operate in a way that respects human rights. Problem: The UK courts have adopted a restrictive interpretation of the meaning of public authority, potentially depriving numerous, often vulnerable people.
The Human Rights Act and the definition of public authority Rights that can be engaged: • right to respect for private life and home; • the right to a fair hearing in the determination of civil rights and obligations • freedom from discrimination in the enjoyment of Convention rights • the right to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment • the right to life
Profile of people in low income Number of people living in low income: The most commonly used threshold of low income is a household income that is 60% or less of the average (median) British household income in that year. • In 2007/08, 13½ million people. This is around a fifth (22%) of the population. • The UK has a higher proportion of its population in relative low income than most other EU countries
Profile of people living in low income Low income and ethnicity • Around two-fifths of people from ethnic minorities live in low-income households, twice the rate for White people. • Among those in working families, around 60% of Bangladeshis, 45% of Pakistanis and 30% of Black Africans are in low income.
Profile of people in low income Low income and age • 4.0 million children in the UK were living in low-income households in 2007/08 after deducting housing costs. • Children are much more likely to live in low-income households than the population as a whole: 31% compared to 22%. • A half of all people in lone parent families are in low income.
Profile of people living in poverty Low income and age Working age adults: • A third of all people in low-income households are now working-age adults without dependent children, and the majority of these are single adults rather than couples.
Profile of people in low income Low income and gender • 40 per cent of women (compared to less than 20 percent of men) have incomes of less than £100 per week. • Ethnic minority women are less likely to hold financial products than ethnic minority men or the general population and are doubly disadvantaged in their levels of assets.
Profile of people living in low income Low income and age Pensioners: • The proportion of pensioners living in low-income households fell from 29% of all pensioners in 1996/97 to 17% in 2005/06, remaining broadly unchanged since then. • Female pensioners 1 in 5 risk of poverty • Working age women less likely to be building up a pension in their own right.
Profile of people living in low income • Low income and disability • 11 million disabled adults and 770,000 disabled children. • Disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled people - and are now more likely to live in poverty than either children or older people. • 50% of disabled people of working age are in employment compared with 80% of non-disabled. Disabled people of working age have incomes that are, on average, less than 50% of that earned by non-disabled people • 1 in 4 children in poverty lives in a family with at least one disabled adult
Our work –tools • Public sector duties, there are two components: the general duty and the specific duties • Function: assessments give the Commission the opportunity to assess and report formally on the extent to which a public authority is meeting its duties as well as the manner in which it is doing so.
Our work –Tools • Single equality duty: • build on the existing gender, race, and disability duties, and extend it to also cover age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment in full, and religion or belief. • It will require public bodies to tackle discrimination and advance equality of opportunity, including reporting annually on their gender pay gap and considering using procurement to drive equality.
Our work The case for care: • YL v Birmingham, although the legislation in this case has been changed and now care homes are cover by HRA other services continue to be in a legal loophole, as there is not certainty on whether they are cover by the HRA.
Our work –Care Care and support – an issue for everyone Care and support is a dynamic issue which is set to touch everyone’s lives at some point. It has a direct bearing on the choices we are able to make and the opportunities we have to lead the lives we wish to lead. How we approach care and support will be an increasingly important factor in whether people enjoy their most fundamental human rights.
Our work –Care Current challenges: • Positive developments: CSCI report • Re-designing • Marginal public service
Care Our vision: Capabilities, co-production and cost benefits Our vision of a reformed approach to care and support is built around three core propositions: • Purpose • Involvement • More information and communication
Social Care • From safety net to springboard The Commission has a substantial work program to help drive reform: • Inspection • Advocacy • Personalisation • Care pathways
Our work- age discrimination in health and social care Age discrimination in both health and social care is best understood as comprising three different, but connected, mechanisms: • Explicit age-based policies • Frontline decisions and behaviours • Organisational level decisions
Age discrimination in health and social care Cancer –Differential treatment based on age for • Breast cancer • Stroke • Depression
Our work -Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) • Definition and premises • Human Rights and poverty –making the link- • BIHR roundtable 2008 • Recommendations
HRBA and poverty The project • Aims: • Building capacity • Raising awareness • Influencing • Measure impact
‘Building a society built on fairness and respect where people are confident in all aspects of their diversity.’