The Equality Coalition are seeking to look at four strategic areas over the next year:
1: EU Referendum
Activism and campaigning on common platforms in relation to matters such as safeguarding workers/maternity/anti-discrimination and other EU derived rights; the implications of withdrawals of EU regional/peace/ agricultural funding. Challenge anti-migrant racism and its institutionalisation, in particular the risks of racial profiling on the land border and NI ports and airports. Equality Coalition to produce a list of key equality points on Brexit.
2: Enforcing the Equality Duty
In the context of austerity and public sector reform- Undertake and produce research into the enforcement of the equality duty including the holding of a number of evidence hearings with member groups. To continue to build skills capacity within members to instigate successful equality duty compliance challenges. To host an event for Departmental Equality Officers to make connections on equality matters, and offer interactive seminars/ training sessions.
3: Mainstreaming Equality and Objective Need in the NI Governance Structures
Campaign to ensure our proposed changes to equality schemes of the new 9 government departments, campaign against the resistance to the Sexual Orientation Strategy and a revised Gender Equality strategy among others. Launch the conference report and key principles on the Anti-Poverty Strategy and campaign for its adoption. Seek to ensure that the Flags, Identity and Culture commission produces recommendations that reflects the ‘equality of treatment’ framework that has already been developed as a core provision of the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights. Include the need for diversity in public appointments when lobbying in this area.
4: Countering Incitement to Hatred
Campaign, including the hosting of a conference, to seek a review and reform of the current domestic incitement to hatred legislation (the Public Order NI Order 1987). Campaign that any proposals on regulating cultural expression from the Flags, Identity and Culture Commission reflect pluralism across protected grounds and campaign for adequate weight to be given to tackling racism, sectarianism, homophobia and prejudice on other protected grounds in this and other mechanisms. To also support the work of UNISON tackling sectarianism in the workplace initiative.