Did the State Let Down the Grenfell Families?

By Benjamin Lowrie, Digital Producer 11 Dec 2017
Grenfell Tower: Wasi Daniju | Flickr

Six months on from the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the national equality body has launched an inquiry into whether the state failed both victims and their families.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will look at if both the Government and local council failed in their duty to protect life, prevent inhuman treatment and provide safe housing.

Isn’t There Already An Inquiry?

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Yes, however, this new probe will look at areas it claims have been ‘overlooked’. It comes just three months after the launch of an official public inquiry into the Grenfell blaze, in which over 70 people died. The inquiry, headed by Sir Martin Moore-Bick has come under some criticism for its “narrow terms of reference” which will not call into question the wider social issues.

Equality watchdog EHCR’s commission ‘Following Grenfell‘ has indicated it will look to answer these questions, adding it will look into whether the “state carried out its duty to investigate deaths and incidents of inhuman and degrading treatment”, including investigating if the public inquiry is “adequate”.

Who Are the EHCR?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a public body established in 2006, which promotes and enforces legislation related to human rights and equality within the UK.

They say they have launched the commission due to concerns that the conditions preceding and following the tragedy “raise serious human rights and equality questions around issues such as the right to life, the right to adequate housing, access to justice, the rights of children and disabled people. ”

David Isaac, chair of the EHCR, said: “The Grenfell Tower fire has become a symbol of the inequality that exists in our country. The first duty of the State is to protect the lives of its citizens and lessons must be learnt to avoid this happening again.

“From the right to life to the duty to provide adequate housing, there are several areas where the State fell short in its duties to its citizens and these must be properly addressed.”

Featured Image Credit: Wasi Daniju / Flickr