The catalytic potential of equality and human rights commissions
Some of these constraints are 'external' in nature, that is, they relate to their resources, independence, powers and general functioning. Others are more 'internal' and existential in nature, that is, they relate to their purpose, functioning, role and relationship with socially disadvantaged groups. Taken together, these constraints hobble the ability of equality and human rights commissions to give effect to a radical agenda of social transformation. However, such bodies can nevertheless still function as effective 'change agents' by enforcing anti-discrimination law and promoting respect for fundamental rights – even if the impact of their work will often be incremental and accumulative rather than immediate and dramatic, as explored in this paper by reference to experience from the UK and other states. In this respect, the trend towards establishing merged equality and human rights commissions represents an affirmation of faith in the modest yet still tangible potential of such bodies to make a positive contribution to the progressive development of society at large.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: c.o’[email protected]
Publication date: February 2016
This article was made available online on January 8, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "The catalytic potential of Equality and Human Rights Commissions?".
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