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Fri, 23 October 2020

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EHRC progress on Hostile Environment legal assessment

Equality and Human Rights Commission

2 min read Partner content

As part of its legal assessment into how the Home Office complied with equality laws when implementing immigration policies, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has written to the department on its progress.

With the Home Office expected to set out its plan for action in response to the Williams Review, the EHRC has provided an early indication of the key areas it would like to see the department commit to improve when developing and implementing immigration policy.

The EHRC has received evidence from the Home Office, as well speaking to representatives of people affected by these policies, on how the department has fulfilled its legal requirements under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).

Early indications suggest improvements are needed from the Home Office on three emerging themes.

  • The Home Office needs to make sure it properly understands the effects, including unintended impacts, of policies on ethnic minority and other protected characteristic groups, by strengthening its approach to information gathering, particularly through engagement with communities and interested organisations.
  • The Home Office should act to improve the way it uses the PSED to inform decisions at each stage of policy formation, implementation and review at both official and ministerial level; and
  • The Home Office can strengthen its understanding of equality at all levels in the department by making the PSED a key part of its culture.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Chief Executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said:

“The Home Office have been fully responsive and engaged positively with us in this legal assessment of how immigration policies were developed, monitored and implemented. We want this to be helpful to them in developing action plans to improve ways of working so there is not a repeat of the devastating effects experienced by many members of the Windrush Generation.

“We will now complete our assessment and develop specific recommendations for the Home Office to consider. We hope the Home Office will commit to addressing our recommendations and working with us on their implementation.”

Once a full analysis of the evidence and recommendation are developed, a final report will be published in the coming months.

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