Professor Simon Hoffman, based in the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law at Swansea University, is lead author of a new report funded by the Welsh Government.
The report entitled ‘Strengthening and advancing equality and human rights in Wales', published in September by the Welsh Government, sets out a blueprint for Welsh law and policy to tackle inequality and to promote stronger recognition of human rights in Wales. It is the result of 18 months of research involving academics from Swansea and Bangor Universities, and national charities Diverse Cymru and Children in Wales.
The research took place against a backdrop of concerns that the UK Government is lukewarm in supporting equality and human rights, and amid fears that Brexit will have an adverse impact on existing human rights protections.
Professor Hoffman said: “Over the last 18 months, we have engaged with people who live in Wales and who experience equality, or rather inequality, in their daily lives, or who have experience of the way human rights affect individuals or communities. The recommendations in the report are grounded in these experiences.
“The sense we gained from the research is that Wales needs to follow its own path to promote social justice through the exercise of devolved powers. In many ways our research findings, detailed in the report, confirm that this is already happening. As a nation, for example, we are making international children’s rights part of Welsh law, and the Welsh Government is leading initiatives to promote the rights of disabled people, older people, people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, and to recognise the rights of people from LGBTQ+ communities. Despite this though, the report is
clear that more needs to be done to ensure equality and realise human rights for individuals and communities in Wales.”
The report has been welcomed by Ministers. In a statement on the research, Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice, said
that the research will stimulate action to “ensure that we achieve our ambition to forge a distinctly Welsh approach to creating a just and equal society, where people can enjoy and exercise their rights within a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.”
The research is set to have long term impact as the Welsh Government takes action during the sixth Senedd to implement its recommendations.