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BOD welcomes rights

Last updated: 2004-11-24

The Board of Deputies has welcomed the Government’s decision to set up a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights. The legislation was announced yesterday in the Queen’s Speech.

The new Commission will replace the three existing equality bodies (Commission for Racial Equality, Equal Opportunities Commission and Disability Rights Commission) and combat discrimination on grounds of age, religion and sexual orientation, as well as promoting compliance with the Human Rights Act. Earlier in the summer, the Board commented on the Government’s White Paper in the Commission. The main points made by the Board have been accepted by the Government.

Board Director General Neville Nagler commented: “In our response to the White paper, we voiced our concern that there should be equal protection for all groups covered by the new Commission. The Government has now indicated its intention to introduce consistent legislation once the new Commission is established. We welcome this approach: without consistency in the law it is difficult to see how the CEHR can operate properly or serve its stakeholders fully.

“We also welcome the intention to outlaw discrimination on grounds of religion in the provision of goods, facilities and services. This is an important development, following the recent introduction of powers to prevent such discrimination in the field of employment; it will be of great help to members of the Jewish community who have experienced this kind of discrimination in the past.”