The EHRC is not fit for purpose

GIRES, Stonewall, Good Law Project and 20+ major LGBTQ+ organisations unite to spark international review of UK’s human rights body. Recent devastating public statements from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are not just a betrayal of LGBTQ+ people and a specific attack on trans people. They fundamentally undermine their core purpose of regulating, promoting and upholding human rights.

And recent revelations, if true, show that the EHRC is planning to restrict trans people’s long-established rights through draft guidance that limits trans people’s rights to spaces and services that match their gender.

This recent and significant change in stance on trans rights is in stark contrast to international human rights law. The EHRC is working against the human rights of people it should be protecting.

We believe it is therefore no longer fit for purpose as a National Human Rights Institution.

GIRES along with other LGBTQ+ chartities have submitted a 19-page dossier of evidence to the United Nations that reveals the numerous ways the EHRC now falls short of the international minimum standards required of effective, credible National Human Rights Institutions.

The dossier, submitted in coalition  with more than 20 other LGBTQ+ and trans focused charities and human rights bodies, calls for a review into the EHRC’s ‘A’ status as a National Human Rights Institution.

You can support our international efforts by campaigning here in the UK. Sign our petition, on Stonewalls website, to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure that trans people’s long-established rights under the Equality Act are protected. 

All of us need our human rights protected and upheld. This is a fundamental value that rises above the politics of the day. That is why the United Nations has robust mechanisms in place internationally to ensure that national human rights institutions (NRHIs) can operate independently of the changing priorities of any government.

These are known as the Paris Principles – the minimum standards required for NHRIs to meet to be considered effective and credible. For an NRHI to achieve an ‘A’ status, which allows them to participate at the UN Human Rights Council, they must be fully compliant with these principles.

We believe that recent statements made by the EHRC, Great Britain’s NHRI, indicate that they can no longer be considered compliant with the Paris Principles, and are no longer fit for purpose as a national human rights institution.