EHRC REPORT ON DISABILITY-RELATED HARASSMENT
On 3 December 2009, International Day of Disabled People, the Equality and Human Rights Commission announced its intention to conduct a formal Inquiry into the actions of public authorities to eliminate disability-related harassment and its causes.
The Commission’s Inquiry powers enable it to compile evidence, call witnesses and make recommendations against which they expect action to follow. The Equality Act stipulates that there have to have terms of reference for formal Inquiries.
On 12 September 2011 the Commission launched ‘Hidden in plain sight’ the inquiry’s final report.
The report was produced after consultation with disabled people and other stakeholders on the following terms of reference:
- To inquire into steps taken by public authorities, singly and jointly with others, to prevent and eliminate disability-related harassment.
- To inquire into steps taken by public authorities, singly and jointly with others, to address the causes of disability-related harassment including prejudice and negative attitudes.
- To inquire into steps taken by public transport operators, singly or jointly with others (including public authorities), to prevent and eliminate disability-related harassment on or around public transport.
- To inquire into how public authorities and public transport operators, singly and jointly with others, have ensured the involvement of disabled people in the prevention and elimination of disability-related harassment and addressing its causes, including steps taken to enable disabled people to effectively report disability-related harassment.
- To inquire into the effectiveness of the steps referred to in paragraphs 1-4 above in preventing and eliminating disability-related harassment and its causes.
- To inquire into how, in deciding on and carrying out the steps in 1-4 above, public authorities and public transport operators have taken into account the diverse experiences and needs of disabled people related to their impairment type, age, gender, gender identity, race or ethnicity, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
- To inquire into the causes of disability-related harassment and identify effective approaches to preventing and eliminating disability-related harassment and disseminating good practice.
- To make such recommendations as are appropriate.
- In carrying out the inquiry the Commission will, where relevant, have regard to the extent to which the public authorities concerned:
- have complied with their duties in relation to the Disability Equality Duty set out in s.49A and s.49D of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, including in particular those elements of the duty relating to the elimination of disability-related harassment and its causes, the promotion of positive attitudes towards disabled people and the duty to encourage the participation of disabled people in public life;
- have complied with any obligations arising under the Human Rights Act 1998;
- are aware of their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in particular Article 16 of that Convention, and the degree to which they have taken action to fulfil them.
- The Inquiry will consider steps carried out directly by public authorities; steps carried out through private and voluntary sector organisations; and issues relating to procurement relevant to the Inquiry’s terms of reference. For the avoidance of doubt, the Inquiry will consider those steps taken by registered social landlords and Arm’s Length Management Organisations (ALMOs).