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Challenging discrimination

Our aim

The Citizens Advice service believes that if we challenge discrimination effectively, we can prevent future abuses, as well as empowering some of the most disadvantaged people in society to realize their rights. The creation of the Equality and Human Rights Commission provides a unique opportunity to become part of a coalition working to challenge discrimination and promote equality and human rights.

The Citizens Advice service strategic plan and FAIR equality and diversity strategy 2008-2011 commits the service to increasing the availability and quality of discrimination advice and policy work.

Nationally, we aim to establish strategic partnerships with equality and advice organizations to improve discrimination policy, campaigning and advice outcomes.

In 2007/8, Citizens Advice bureaux dealt with 22,780 discrimination enquiries. Three-quarters of these enquiries were about discrimination in employment, and the rest covered a wide range of issues including discrimination in housing, legal issues, benefits, and consumer issues. The most common grounds on which clients reported experiencing discrimination were disability, sex and race, but there were also significant numbers of enquiries about discrimination on the grounds of age, sexual orientation and religion or belief.  

In 2008/9, 20 Citizens Advice bureaux in England and Wales received grant funding under the Equality and Human Rights Commission interim grant-funding programme: the majority to provide specialist discrimination casework and representation to people in their area.

Key initiatives

Progress towards equality

In 2008, Citizens Advice led the innovative UK-wide multi-agency Progress towards equality project, funded by the European Union.

To read about the regional and national Progress conferences, or to download public information materials on equality and human rights produced as part of the Progress project, please visit the 'Is that discrimination?' website:

Tackling the cost of inequality: advice prevents discrimination and reduces inequality

This brochure explains how the Citizens Advice service has an important part to play in social change, by promoting a culture of equality and human rights, preventing discrimination, and resolving individual problems. It sets out key facts and figures, explains what the service is already doing, and looks at the opportunities presented by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Tackling the cost of inequality [Adobe Acrobat Document 190 KB]

How can we make sure people have access to advice and justice?

A report from a seminar series held in June 2006 for advice agencies, equality organisations and the Department for Communities and Local Government, organised by Citizens Advice England, Wales and Scotland, the Equality and Diversity Forum, and adviceUK.

How can we make sure people have access to advice and justice? seminar series report [Adobe Acrobat Document 330 KB]

Majority Matters evaluation

This report is an evaluation of the ‘Majority Matters’ programme within the Citizens Advice service. The programme was funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2005 – 7, and was implemented in partnership with the Muslim Council of Britain and the Village CAB (the lesbian, gay and bisexual advice service in NW England), and The Age and Employment Network.

Majority Matters programme evaluation executive summary [Adobe Acrobat Document 170 KB]

Majority Matters programme evaluation report [Adobe Acrobat Document 400 KB]

Further information

For more information on our work on discrimination advice contact us.

Information about our Equality and diversity strategy.

Citizens Advice