Equality and rights

Severe and multiple disadvantage has a close correlation with poverty and wider disadvantages such as discrimination. It is much more prevalent in areas of economic deprivation and decline particularly post-industrial northern areas, seaside towns and some areas of London. And it affects women and people from BAME communities in ways that link to discrimination, such as violence against women and disproportionate incarceration of young black men.

We are using quantitative and qualitative research to build an inclusive picture of the lives of people facing severe and multiple disadvantage, investigating the different ways it plays out for different groups of people.

  • We have commissioned work on women and multiple disadvantage and are carrying out a feasibility study to better understand how women and girls experience severe and multiple disadvantage.
  • We have made a major 5-year commitment to establish a ‘knowledge hub’ on ethnicity and severe and multiple disadvantage, which will use data as a tool for change.
  • We are using evidence from research to underpin action such as our involvement in Agenda, the new alliance for women and girls at risk of severe and multiple disadvantage.

We are interested in rights-based approaches and in how human rights can provide a frame for the kinds of relationships and processes that lead to systems change.

We think there is untapped potential in the use of the law as a tool for change in this area. We have supported Public Law Project’s successful work to challenge the legality of the exceptional funding scheme which was supposed to make legal aid available to people facing the most extreme disadvantage.