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Equality and human rights: sibling companions or false friends?

Speaker: Trevor Phillips
Chair: Professor Francesca Klug, Centre for the Study of Human Rights
March 2005


Equality and respect for human rights are two of the biggest ideas of modern times. At a time of great international and domestic tension, here are two ideas that seem to represent the best of our core values. But what do they mean? In particular what is the relationship between the two? Does a commitment to one necessarily undermine the other, or do the two working together add more value than either on its own? With the Government's proposal for a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights now before Parliament, how will such a body affect the flourishing of both of these ideas in British society?

Trevor Phillips became Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality on 1 March 2003.

He was educated in the Caribbean and England. Whilst completing his degree in Biology he became involved in the National Union of Students and was elected President in 1978. After leaving university he started his career in TV, initially as a researcher with London Weekend Television before being promoted to Head of Current Affairs. He became a well-known face for both LWT and the BBC.

Trevor has campaigned on equality issues throughout his adult life. He successfully initiated the Windrush season, which raised the profile of Black history.

Trevor has combined his successful career in the media with voluntary work. He has been Chair of the Runnymede Trust and is currently trustee of several leading charities working to serve ethnic minority communities.

Trevor was Chair of the London Assembly from May 2000 to February 2003.