Building human rights and equality competency

Every organisation, business or service provider needs to be equality and human rights competent if it is to promote human rights and equality and have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, and protect human rights in carrying out their functions.

Equality and human rights competent organisations, businesses and services take a planned and systematic approach to equality and human rights.   In so doing they become more compliant but also reap rewards and benefits in terms of customers.  Building human rights and equality competencies will:

  • contribute to enhanced quality customer service with its emphasis on meeting the needs of a diversity of customers and with the creativity and insight that flow from a concern for and a knowledge of this diversity.
  • stimulate and support positive staff – customer relationships that in turn contribute to enhanced staff morale and engagement with the business.
  • assist organisations in their compliance with the Equal Status Acts. It will stimulate a staff focus on the legislation and on good practice. It will contribute to addressing the employer’s liability under the Acts.

Equality and human rights competent organisations, businesses or service providers are characterised by:

  • procedures to address issues of discrimination or violations of human rights if they occur and to prevent such issues occurring;
  • a culture that values human dignity and diversity and takes steps to respect human dignity and to make adjustments to take account of any practical implications of diversity among service users;
  • a proactive approach to achieving equality and fulfilling human rights that includes a combination of specific measures that target service users and of mainstreaming a concern for equality and human rights into all key decision making.

For further information see:

A Rough Guide to Building Human Rights and Equality Competencies.

Sector Examples

Resources and Publications.

Please note that these factsheets are for information only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such.