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Equality Agenda

Background

Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 places a statutory obligation on Public Authorities to carry out their functions with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity and good relations in respect of religious belief, political opinion, gender, race, disability, age, marital status, dependants and sexual orientation. To implement this obligation, we have produced an Equality Scheme which has been approved by the Equality Commission.

Equality Scheme

The Department's new Equality Scheme was subject to a public consultation between January and March 2011. It was approved by the Equality Commission on 9 August 2011. The Equality Scheme for 2011 - 2016 is available at the following link:

A Summary of the Equality Scheme is available at the following link:

The Department has also produced an EasyRead version of the Equality Scheme.  You will find this by opening this link:

When a person believes that he/she has been directly affected by a failure of the Department to comply with the Equality Scheme he/she is free to make a complaint. Details of how to make a complaint can be found in the following webpage:

The Department's Equality Scheme commits the Department to submitting a formal review of progress, on an annual basis, to the Equality Commission, setting out the action taken to fulfil Section 75 commitments.  The current report is available through the following link:

The previous year's report is available at the following link - older reports can be requested from the DRD Equality Unit:

Five Year Review of Equality Scheme

The Department conducted a five year review of its previous Equality Scheme in 2006. The report which issued to the Equality Commission is available at the following link:

In 2011 the Department introduced a new Equality Scheme which was approved by the Equality Commission. This will be reviewed in 2017.

USEFUL LINKS

Full details of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 can be found at:

Revised Guidance for implementing Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 was published in April 2010 by the Equality Commission. This revised guidance, and other information about the Equality Commission, can be found on their website by searching for 'Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 - A Guide for Public Authorities'.