The Effectiveness of Legislation and Code of Practice or Charter in Promoting Diversity

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Unit 6 D2 The effectiveness of Legislation and Code of practice or Charter in promoting diversity A human rights based approach adds practical value to equality and diversity work in a number of ways, including: Greater protection against discrimination: Human rights belong to everyone; the Human Rights Act therefore provides important protection for groups who may face discrimination or poor treatment but are not covered by existing equality legislation, for example carers, homeless people, asylum seekers. Protection against universally bad treatment: If everyone is being poorly treated without distinction, this will not qualify as discrimination for example if all residents at a care home are being mistreated by staff. The Human Rights Act can be used to address this kind of situation by judging poor treatment against a fixed standard, rather than requiring a victim to show they are being poorly treated in comparison to others. Protection against other forms of ill-treatment: Disadvantaged groups may face forms of ill-treatment besides discrimination. The Human Rights Act goes beyond discrimination, providing a minimum standard below which public authorities must not go. A more holistic approach: Human rights focus on individuals, rather than categorising people by specific characteristics. This widens the equality debate to include everyone rather than just specific groups. It also means human rights can address issues of multiple discrimination, where it is not clear why an individual is being poorly treated – focusing on the poor treatment itself, rather than the reason for the treatment. A framework for balancing competing rights: The majority of human rights are not absolute. The Human Rights Act contains a mechanism for balancing the rights of individuals with each other, or with the rights and interests of the wider community.

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