BIHR's Annual Conference 2009, Changing the Face of Human Rights

BIHR's experience has shown that the prevailing narrow - and often negative - public discourse about human rights is preventing appropriate, beneficial and widespread use of the Human Rights Act and is a major barrier to people's understanding of human rights.

This innovative event was the first of its kind in the UK, bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds to examine how human rights are portrayed and how public discourse can be opened up to allow a more rounded discussion about them. The BIHR conference aimed to capture key debates about human rights, challenge prevailing attitudes, influence and engage key decision-makers within the media, human rights sector, wider civil society and public sector, and broaden current public understanding of human rights.

Speakers and contributors included: 
  • Anna Ford (Chair), Former journalist and newsreader
  • Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for Justice
  • Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Professor Monica McWilliams, Chief Commissioner for Human Rights in Northern Ireland


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