23 September 2016

The British Institute of Human Rights is pleased to announce the launch of our Joint Civil Society Report, submitted to the United Nations as part of its Universal Periodic Review of the UK. Launched on 22 September 2016, we were joined by the Rt Hon Harriet Harman (Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights) and David Isaac CBE (Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission) who shared their views on the human rights situation in the UK.

The report has been produced as part of our Human Rights Check UK project*, which has been assessing human rights changes since the UK was last reviewed by the UN in 2012. We have engaged with over 175 organisations across England, Scotland and Wales** through both a Call to Evidence and hosting a series of events across Great Britain. These groups range from local community advocacy groups to large national organisations, working on issues such as health, older people, children, justice, education, welfare and many others.

A key theme across the evidence we received are concerns regarding the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act. Civil society organisations were worried that a new Bill of Rights would offer weaker human rights protections, particularly impacting vulnerable members of society. Other key issues related to growing poverty across the UK as a result of welfare reforms and austerity measures. The report reflects the damaging impact this is having on a number of human rights issues, including access to justice, children and women’s rights and the right to an adequate standard of living.

Our report calls on the UN to recognise the evidence from a range of civil society groups, and to ensure the UK Government, and the devolved administrations, are accountable for taking appropriate action and measures to redress these human rights concerns.

Read our Joint Civil Society Report launched on 22 September 2016 here

Check out coverage of the report in the media:

Catch up with the social media chat about our Report launch using #UPR and #HumanRightsCheck.

* Human Rights Check UK is funded through a Tender awarded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

**As the project has been commissioned by the EHRC it covers Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales).