A local group working to promote a “rights based” culture in Guernsey is hopeful for the New Year and the implementation of Guernsey’s new discrimination legislation.
The States of Guernsey agreed in November to include sexual orientation and religious belief in new discrimination ordinance that'll be considered in 2022; Equality Guernsey has welcomed the news despite a tough few years engaging with some island politicians.
“I’m trying to be upbeat after a pretty bad year or two,” said Equality Founder Karen Blanchford.
“It hasn’t been easy for us during the past year and a half with the change of assembly and a lack of understanding around the legislation.”
She said the island is going into 2022 much stronger, following support for phase 1 of the ordinance (sexual orientation and religious belief): “we’re hoping to see the legislation before the end of the year,” she said.
Pictured: “Guernsey is probably one of the last places in the world to have anti-discrimination legislation implemented,” said Ms Blanchford.
The working group has also grown in the last year, attracting new ambassadors and a new Vice-Chair.
“I'm delighted to be taking on the role of Vice Chair for Equality Guernsey,” said Roselyn Mutongerwa.
“I have spent the last 3 years living and working on Island and contributing to a number of Diversity and Inclusion initiatives (such as training and policy creation) for and with organisations based in Guernsey and in the UK. In addition, I founded WEMVision, an organisation with a mission to support the social mobility of women and ethnic minorities through education and employment. “
We reflect on 2021 with mixed feelings. Delighted to have new volunteers join the team, to expand our training offering and to acknowledge sexual Orientation and religious belief have been moved into Phase 1 of the discrimination legislation - due in 2022. #Guernsey 1/5 pic.twitter.com/oQ1YF6iP5H— EqualityGsy (@EqualityGsy) December 31, 2021
Pictured: The group said 2021 had left its members with “mixed feelings.”
Ms Blanchford said the group has an active role to play in educating businesses and the public about future discrimination legislation, and its expanded ranks should help with this.
“The Consortium, which is a combination of the leaders of Walkers LLP, the Guernsey Institute, Focus HR, the Guernsey Employment Trust and the Guernsey Disability Alliance are going to be leading the training for the legislation,” she said.
“We’re going to be very active in supporting business and the community in understanding the legislation and preparing for it – 2022 will be a very big year."
Pictured: Equality Guernsey has shared the progress made in the island when it comes to various areas of discrimination legislation.
“The more people that we have sharing information, talking to people, and influencing, the better, and then we get a better understanding of equality locally,” concluded Ms Blanchford.
The States of Guernsey said the drafting of the island’s discrimination legislation has started and it should come before the assembly for approval in early 2022.
You can find out more about Equality Guernsey and the work the group does ONLINE.
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