17 years ago, the Human Right Act became law in the UK. To mark this occasion, we are celebrating the Human Rights Act, which sets out the basic rights and freedoms for all people in the UK. 

The Human Rights Act makes the promise of human rights real here in the UK. Human rights are the basic freedoms and protections that every person has simply because they are human. Human rights set down a rule book for governments on how we should be treated - laying down a minimum standard, backed up by law.

Becoming law on 2 October 2000, the Human Rights Act not only made human rights accessible in our UK courts, but supports a "culture of respect for human rights" here at home. This has been explained as a society that fosters basic respect for human rights, where such respect is an integral part of our way of life and a reference point for our dealing with public authorities and each other (Joint Committee on Human Rights).

We think 17 years of human rights protection under the Act is something to celebrate.

'Unwrapping' the Human Rights Act

Over the next 17 days, we will be 'unwrapping' the Human Rights Act. We'll be explaining how the Human Rights Act protects our rights in the UK - from how the law works in practice, to which rights it protects. We'll also be sharing stories of how it has made a difference to the lives of people across the UK, with many examples taken from BIHR's work with people, community groups and public services.

What you can do

Be sure to check for the Human Rights Act story of the day and be part of celebrating our human rights protections.

Please join us in celebrating the Human Rights Act on social media, using the hashtag #HRAat17.

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