Equality activists in dozens of countries, ranging from the Bahamas to Japan, are working to develop and advocate for comprehensive equality laws. In many other countries, where political or societal barriers limit the space for reform, activists are working to build consensus on the need for such laws.
Over the last fifteen years, we have supported movements like this in every corner of the globe, providing training, research, legal guidance and strategic advice. Responding to their needs, between 2020 and 2022, we worked with the United Nations Human Rights Office to produce the Practical Guide to Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation, the first definitive, comprehensive guidance issued by the United Nations on the law in this area. In early 2023, we held a series of global consultations on supporting equality law reform, engaging hundreds of equality activists from more than 50 countries, in every region of the world. These meetings confirmed that those advocating for comprehensive equality laws urgently want and need practical, technical and strategic support, resources and guidance.
How will we achieve our objective?
We will deliver three complementary programmes, to meet the needs of equality activists:
- Supporting equality movements: We will partner with organisations and coalitions engaged in developing and advocating for comprehensive equality laws, working with them to design and deliver country-specific programmes of training, research, legislative guidance and strategic support to meet their needs. We will connect these movements with each other and our growing network of experienced campaigners to share and exchange knowledge, expertise and resources.
- Building international consensus: We will promote the adoption and use of the Practical Guide by international and regional human rights bodies, intergovernmental institutions and international non-governmental organisations, in order to broaden the consensus on the need for and content of comprehensive equality laws and so support campaigners in influencing governments.
- Improving public understanding: We will develop public education materials, resources and training programmes to increase public understanding of, and support for, comprehensive equality laws. We will support research into strategies to build public support for these laws and to overcome social and political opposition to equality for all.
What will be the outcome?
Ultimately, we aim to increase the number of states which have enacted comprehensive equality laws.
We will achieve this through ensuring that equality activists and movements have (1) the knowledge, capacity and resources they need to advocate effectively for new equality laws and (2) the evidence, endorsements and support they need to make the case for law reform.