Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission published an interesting report yesterday, ‘Is Britain Fairer?’, which it describes as “the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection in Britain”.
The report looks at current human rights and equality challenges, as Britain becomes more ethnically and religiously diverse than at any point in its history. It also challenges many existing assumptions about which sections of the population encounter the greatest challenges.
Some of the findings from the report include:
- White pupils from poorer backgrounds, especially boys, suffered the worst start in life as they continued to fall further behind every other ethnic group at school – with their chances of a successful and prosperous career decreasing as a result.
- Chinese and Indian pupils continue to perform better than all other ethnicities at school, and a higher proportion of school-leavers from ethnic minorities go on to higher education than white pupils.
- Girls now outperform boys at school and university, but women still suffer a pay gap which increases as they enter the “sandwich years”, juggling caring for children and parents with the demands of their careers.
- Britons have become more tolerant in general of sexual orientation and racial diversity, but less tolerant in general of religious diversity, with an increase in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crime.
- Younger people suffered the greatest drop in income and employment compared to older age groups, and now face greater barriers to achieving economic independence and success than they did five years ago.
- Legislative and policy reforms have been implemented to tackle serious human rights abuses, such as modern slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and data protection.