Organisations signed up to Devon’s Joint Declaration for Equality recognise the importance of putting the needs of people first, and promoting and upholding the human rights and equal rights of everybody in Devon including asylum seekers, migrant workers, nomadic communities, refugees, residents, students and tourists.

We intend that Devon will continue to develop as a thriving county with strong, cohesive and happy communities, by putting equality, fairness and human rights at the heart of service delivery, economic success, education and employment.

We agree with the Definition of an Equal Society and will work hard to achieve an equal society in Devon. Working together, we want to be a regional example of excellence.

Definition of an equal society

An equal society recognises and promotes people’s different needs, situations and goals and removes the unlawful barriers that limit what people can do and can be, at any stage in their life.

An equal society is one which upholds the human rights of everyone and has eliminated unlawful discrimination based on: nationality, ethnic, racial or national origin, skin colour, gender (men and women, including transgendered or transsexual men and women), age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. It has also eliminated unfair discrimination based on: financial or employment status, educational background, family circumstances, physical differences, political opinion, where someone lives, spent criminal records, or any other status. An equal society values human diversity, recognising that diversity brings a range of skills, knowledge, values, styles, perspectives and ideas that secure Devon’s future as a place where people want to live, work and prosper, and challenges the inequalities that destroy this diversity in our society and organisations.

Devon Strategic Partnership

The vision of equality and fairness for Devon:

People achieve their own potential and a good quality of life.

Everyone can use or access services, facilities or information. Different needs are always taken into account.

There is public influence over decision making, planning, policy and service delivery.

There is wide and fair representation and minority voices are heard; people feel involved and influential - forums for participating are supported in a sustainable way and have real impact.

Diversity is reflected in governance arrangements. No community is considered ‘hard to reach’.

There is a strong understanding of the diverse range of needs in Devon’s communities, their make up and changing nature. There is understanding of how people’s lives are affected by who they are. Opportunities and challenges are understood.

At all levels, the business community and our workforce is supported and reflects the community. There is fair pay and employment practice, equal opportunities to progress and develop, and access to flexible working and ‘family friendly’ arrangements.

Devon is a stronger, safer and inclusive community. There are good relations between different communities. People are treated with dignity and respect at work, as customers, and in the community.

People have trust and confidence in us to report incidents of abuse or unlawful discrimination and are happy with the process when they do.

Our commitment

In order to achieve an equal society and our vision of equality and fairness we will work

independently and in partnership to –

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment.
  • Promote equality of opportunity.
  • Promote good relations and positive attitudes towards and between all people.
  • Encourage participation in public life.
  • Take steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires ‘more favourable treatment’.

[Based upon Public Sector Equality General Duties]

We will work actively, both in line with our statutory duties and in the spirit of this declaration to become a county where everyone feels safe and respected. We will monitor our actions and check for discrimination in employment and the provision of goods or services and, where relevant, promote action through the equality duties.