Chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), Trevor Phillips, will be the keynote speaker at a unique event to be held on 23 February at the Scottish Parliament.
“Equalities in Scotland: a Review of Progress”, hosted by Holyrood’s Equal Opportunities Committee, will bring together more than 80 different age, disability, gender, race, religion/belief and sexual orientation groups in an open debate – the first time such an event has taken place at the Parliament.
Following Trevor Phillips’ keynote address, each of the groups taking part – including Save the Children Scotland, Disability Rights Commission, Scottish Women’s Convention, Commission for Racial Equality, Church of Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland – will have an opportunity to address the chamber about how they view equalities in Scotland.
The event will feed into 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and will focus on developments in equalities over the past two parliamentary sessions, as well as inviting the delegates to set further targets for the future.
Speaking ahead of the event, Trevor Phillips said:
"The Scottish Parliament Equalities Review will help inform the CEHR’s agenda in a significant way. The CEHR strongly recognises devolution and will operate in an autonomous, but not separate way in Scotland.
"As the national leader in creating a society at ease with all aspects of human diversity, the CEHR will rely on Scotland to be an important contributor to the GB-wide equality and human rights agenda.”
Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee, Cathy Peattie MSP, who will be opening the event, said:
"This event will provide a valuable opportunity to bring together a wide range of equality groups from across Scotland. Working together, participants can take stock of the progress achieved in equalities – and agree priorities for the future.
"The result of this debate will provide a resource for the committee’s successors following the election and offer pointers to developing the Parliament’s relationship with the CEHR when it takes up all its functions in October 2007.”
Members of the public wishing to attend the event should contact Visitor Services on 0131 348 5200. Textphone users can contact 0845 270 0152. We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service.
If you are interested in attending the event or are keen to explore any other media opportunity such as talking to groups taking part in the event, please contact Richard Holligan in the Scottish Parliament’s Media Relations Office on the number below.
A list of participants is available on request.
In November 2006 the committee produced a far-reaching report into the barriers to participation faced by disabled people – based on evidence gained after a detailed two-year inquiry.
Other achievements include; an inquiry, report and seminar based event on the rights of Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland , holding a race relations event on September 2001 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Race Relations Act and substantial work on mainstreaming equality in the works of committees of the Scottish Parliament.
The European Parliament has designated 2007 the "European Year of Equal Opportunities for All". The aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of a just, cohesive society where there is equality of opportunity for all.
For more information on the CEHR visit www.cehr.org.uk.
Age Concern Scotland, Angus Youth Congress, Bahá’í Council for Scotland,
Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure in Scotland, Black Community Development Project
Borders Disability Forum, Capability Scotland, CEHR, Central Scotland Racial Equality Council
Children 1st, Children in Scotland, Children, Fathers and Fatherhood Project,
Chinese Community Development Partnership, Church of Scotland
Commission for Racial Equality Scotland, Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations
Disability Rights Commission, Dundee Equality Forum, Edinburgh and Lothians Racial Equality Council
Engender, Equal Opportunities Commission Scotland, Equality Forward
Equality Network, Fairbridge in Scotland, Fairness, Race Awareness and Equality (FRAE) Fife
Fife Men Project, Fife Women’s Network, Gay Dads Scotland, Glasgow Gurdwaras Council
Glasgow LGBT Centre, Glasgow Women's Voluntary Sector Network, Granite Sisters
Health Together Project, Help the Aged (Scotland), Highland LGBT Forum
Highlands and Islands Equality Forum, Humanist Society of Scotland
Inclusion Scotland, Islamic Society of Britain, LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing
LGBT Youth Dumfries and Galloway, LGBT Youth Scotland
Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, Men in Childcare
Men’s Health Forum Scotland, Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Edinburgh
Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland, National Autistic Society
National Pensioners Convention Scotland, NCH Scotland
NHS Inclusion Project, NUS Scotland LGBT Campaign
Older People’s Equality Forum, Pagan Federation (Scotland), Rainbow Families Scotland
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Roman Catholic Church
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Royal National Institute for the Blind Scotland, Saheliya
Save the Children Scotland, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People
Scottish Association for Mental Health, Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer
Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
Scottish Council on Deafness, Scottish Disability Equality Forum
Scottish Episcopal Church, Scottish Inter Faith Council, Scottish Pensioners Forum
Scottish Refugee Council, Scottish Transgender Alliance, Scottish Women’s Aid
Scottish Women’s Budget Group, Scottish Women’s Convention
Scottish Youth Parliament, Sense Scotland, South Ayrshire Elderly Forum
South Lanarkshire Disability Forum, Stonewall Scotland, STUC
STUC - Black Workers' Committee, Unison Scotland – Scottish Black Members’ Committee
Unitarian Christian Church, Waverley Care, Women onto Work
Women’s Fund for Scotland, Women's Support Project, Youthlink Scotland, YWCA Scotland.