Following a week of upheaval, this latest news shows how unjust those “protecting our rights” have been when it comes to trans lives


The Equality And Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was established in 2007 to monitor and protect human rights in England, Wales and Scotland in areas such as sexuality, race, religion and gender identity. The organisation’s mission to stand up for “freedom, compassion and justice” has clearly been failed. Just a week ago, the EHRC released two statements which called for the Scottish government to delay its work updating the gender recognition act, the other called for the upcoming conversion therapy ban in England and Wales to not cover trans people. This led to strong responses from groups such as Stonewall and Feminist Gender Equality Network opposing the statements.

After the week we’ve had, I’m sure no one was in denial about how actively the organisation was opposing the progression of trans rights. However, the leaked emails and documents obtained by VICE World News show just how aligned with anti-trans groups and beliefs the EHRC is.

The documents reveal leaders at the EHRC are playing key roles in removing rights from trans people. This has been done by supporting legal cases which oppose trans equality, organising private meetings with anti-trans lobbyists over the last year and, of course, their recent statements to the government.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner has stood as chair of the EHRC since December 2020. The leaked emails show that Falkner requested time with Fair Play For Women, a group which claims to “advocate for the sex-based rights of women and girls”. The group is founded by Nicola Williams who has repeatedly called trans women “males”.

Within its report, VICE World News shares that the outlet “asked four leading LGBTQ organisations that support trans rights whether they were given the same opportunity for direct contact with Falkner in her role as EHRC chair – they all said they hadn’t”.

The leaked documents also show the EHRC’s increasing criticism over gender identity over the years. Some show that Kate Harris and Bev Jackson (founders of the “gender critical” LGB Alliance group) have held meetings with the EHRC since Falkner took over as chair.

I strongly encourage everyone to read the article shared by VICE World News, as it brings to light just how much transphobia is entrenched within an organisation that is supposed to protect our rights. Liberty have called for the EHRC’s status as a national human rights institution to be reviewed. So much damage has already been dealt to the trans community as the UK has become increasingly hostile and transphobic. Those who have a responsibility to protect all our rights should be held to accountability.


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