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Disability Rights Commission and Commission for Equality and Human Rights

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) closes at the end of September 2007, to make way for the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), established under the Equality Act 2006, which opens on 1 October 2007

The new Commission replaces not only the DRC but also the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). It will work to promote fairness for everyone and tackle discrimination in relation to gender, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief, age and race. The Commission will also promote human rights.

The new Commission will be a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and independent influential champion whose purpose is to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people and protect human rights.

The CEHR will take an active role in helping to achieve change to benefit some of the most vulnerable and least well represented people in our society.

The CEHR will bring together the work of the three existing Commissions, the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in this new body.

The CEHR will take on all of the powers of the existing Commissions as well as new powers to enforce legislation more effectively and promote equality for all. The Commission will champion the diverse communities that make up modern Britain in their struggle against discrimination.

It will also promote awareness and understanding of human rights and encourage good practice by public authorities in meeting their Human Rights Act obligations. New powers to take human rights cases will give a new arrow to the bow of many minorities who suffer discrimination.

The Commission will cover England, Scotland and Wales. In Scotland and Wales there will be statutory committees responsible for the work of the CEHR.

A single commission will have many benefits, including:

  • bringing together equality experts and act as a single source of information and advice - instead of the current separate organisations
  • being a single point of contact for individuals, businesses and the voluntary and public sectors
  • helping businesses by promoting awareness of equality issues, which may prevent costly court and tribunal cases
  • tackling discrimination on multiple levels - some people may face more than one type of discrimination
  • giving older people a powerful national body to tackle age discrimination

The CEHR chief executive is Nicola Brewer

More information at: Commission for Equality and Human Rights website http://www.cehr.org.uk/

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