A busy crowded street A busy crowded street

Our human rights work

In this section you can read all about the work done by the Commission on human rights issues.

Our mission

It is the Equality and Human Rights Commission's mission to:

  • promote awareness, understanding and protection of human rights
  • encourage public authorities to comply with the Human Rights Act

We are a statutory body, established up by an Act of Parliament. We are also an ‘A’ status National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) accredited by the United Nations (UN). We operate independently of government.

We challenge government and public service providers if they breach human rights, and work to strengthen human rights protection and equality legislation. Our main activities are set out below.

Monitoring and reporting

We monitor the human rights situation in Britain, report our findings and recommendations to the UN, the Government and Parliament.

We also report on Britain’s progress in protecting equality and human rights as part of our duty under the Equality Act 2006. In 2015, we published ‘Is Britain Fairer?’, the biggest ever review into equality and human rights.

Legal powers

We use our legal powers to improve human rights protection. Since 2011, we have held the Government and other public bodies to account in more than 70 cases. Read more about our legal work in action.

Our work with the United Nations (UN)

We continue to feed into the Universal Periodic Review, a peer-review process set up by the UN Human Rights Council, in which UN Member States examine each other’s human rights records.

As part of our role as an ‘NHRI, the Commission provides information to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. This includes written and oral statements, sometimes prepared jointly with other NHRIs. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established by the UN Human Rights Council The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established by the UN Human Rights Council.

We promote, monitor and report on the seven UN treaties signed by the UK – an important part of our role as an NHRI.

Our work with government

We advise the UK Government and Parliament, and the devolved Scottish and Welsh administrations, on the human rights implications of policies and proposed legislation, for example by providing parliamentary briefings and responding to government consultations.

Information provider

We provide information on human rights for members of the public, civil society organisations and public authorities. This information explains what human rights we all have, and helps organisations with human rights duties meet their obligations.

Last updated: 09 Oct 2018