Today, on global Human Rights Day, Chief Executives of 163 organisations across the UK have signed an open letter from the British Institute of Human Rights, published in the Daily Telegraph, calling on “those with power to stand with us to respect human rights laws”.

The organisations, which represent people from across the UK including carers, older people, disabled people and children, professional bodies like the British Medical Association and RCN, and local councils and officials such as the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, call on “those with power to reflect on the meaningful, often quiet, ways human rights make a difference for people in their everyday lives”.

The letter notes:

Today, as the world marks the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - that “Magna Carta for all humanity” - we call on those with power to reflect on the meaningful, often quiet, ways human rights make a difference for people in their everyday lives. From ensuring protection for people receiving care services and victims of crimes to equality for same-sex couples, our Human Rights Act is helping to deliver the promise of the UDHR in Britain; the promise that each person’s equal dignity and worth is respected. The legacy of Magna Carta – which has its 800th anniversary in June - is that the exercise of political power cannot be unrestrained: it must follow the law. We hope that 2015 will be the year that those in power stand with us to respect human rights laws.

Stephen Bowen, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, said:

"Human rights are the shared values of the whole human family. Today, as people across the world celebrate the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we should remember this is the inspiration for the European Convention on Human Rights and our own Human Rights Act.”

“We hope those with power will see what we see: how our human rights laws are a vital safety net for us all, delivering on the ancient promise of Magna Carta to make sure that even the Government has to play by the rules. As we approach the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, now is the time to champion the legal protection of human rights here at home.”

View the letter on the Telegraph website here. The list of signatories is below:

Stephen Bowen, Director, British Institute of Human Rights

(in alphabetical order by organisation)

Gary Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, Action on Elder Abuse

Paul Breckell, Chief Executive, Action on Hearing Loss

Steve Johnson, Chief Executive, Advice UK

Richard Williams, Chair, Age Alliance Wales

Jeff Hawkins, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Age Connects Wales

Brian Sloan, Chief Executive, Age Scotland

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

Samantha Mauger, Chief Executive, Age UK London

Matthew Evans, Director, AIRE Centre

Joe Powell, Director, All Wales People First

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland

Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK

Federico Moscogiuri, Chief Executive Officer, ARMA

Sally Gibson, Artistic Director, Artspace Cinderford

Shaminder Ubhi, Director, Ashiana Network

Wayne Myslik, Chief Executive, Asylum Aid

Ewan Roberts, Manager, Asylum Link Merseyside

Donna Covey CBE, Director, AVA (Against Violence and Abuse)

Abdul Khan, Chief Executive Officer, BECON

Priscilla Nkwenti, Chief Executive, BHA for Equality

Ann Chivers, Chief Executive, BILD (British Institute of Learning Disabilities)

Elizabeth Prochaska, Co-Chair, Birthrights

Asif Afridi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, BRAP

Tom Hore, Director, Bristol Mind

Bridget Robb, Chief Executive Officer, British Association of Social Workers

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, British Humanist Association

Dr Mark Porter, Chair of Council, British Medical Association

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive, Carers UK

Judith Wester, Director, CEDAR CIC

Prof Katja Ziegler, Director, Centre for European Law and Internationalism

Paola Uccellari, Director, Children’s Rights Alliance for England

Jim Bowen, Director, Clynfyw Carefarm

Jatin Haria, Executive Director, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights

Annemarie Monaghan and Lynn G Blair, Directors, Community Brokerage Network

Liz Sayce OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Disability Rights UK

Barbara Cohen, Chair, Discrimination Law Association

Leigh Daynes, Chief Executive Officer, Doctors of the World

Carol Boys, Chief Executive, Down's Syndrome Association

Shona Laidlaw, Manager, Dundee Independent Advocacy Support

Bharti Patel, Chief Executive Officer,  ECPAT UK

Arvinda Gohil, Chief Executive, Emmaus UK

Sarah Green, Acting Director, End Violence Against Women (EVAW)

Jo Glanville, Director, English PEN

Amanda Ariss, Chief Executive, Equality and Diversity Forum

Jago Russell, Chief Executive, Fair Trials International

Steve Miller, Senior Consultant, Faith Based Regeneration Network UK

Mustafa Field, Director, Faiths Forum for London

Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive, Family Rights Group

Julia Bleet, Chair, Free Cakes for Kids Hackney

Jonathan Hyams and Andrew Gough, Co-Directors, FRESh

Chris Whitwell, Director, Friends, Families and Travellers

Bernard Reed, Trustee, Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES)

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, Grandparents Plus

Bella Kosamala, Director, Greenwich Migrant Hub

Reverend Mike Firbank, Vicar for Church Gresley, Gresley Church

Helen Hibberd, Centre Manager, Hackney Migrant Centre

Councillor Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council  , Halton Borough Council

Sandie Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Healthwatch Cambridgeshire

Emma Craig, Chair, Healthwatch Hackney

Rosie Newbigging, Chief Executive Officer, Healthwatch Northamptonshire

Cornelius Katona, Medical Director, Helen Bamber

Damien Short, Director, Human Rights Consortium, University of London

Alison Gerry, Chair, Human Rights Lawyers Association

David Mepham, UK Director, Human Rights Watch

Simon Hancock, Board Member Equality Champion, Hywel Dda University Health Board

Adrian Berry, Chair, Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association

Imran Khan, Partner, Imran Khan and Partners

Helen Shaw and Deborah Coles, Co-Directors, INQUEST

Sara Khan and Kalsoom Bashir, Co-Directors, Inspire

Jo Baker, Chief Executive, International Service

Habib Rahman, Chief Executive, JCWI

Shauneen Lambe, Director, Just for Kids Law

Ratna Lachman, Director, JUST West Yorkshire

Tatiana Garavito, Director, Latin American Women’s Rights Service

Julie Bishop, Director, Law Centres Network

Andrew Caplen, President, Law Society

Steve Hynes, Director, Legal Action Group (LAG)

Jenny Beck and Nicola Mackintosh, Co-Chairs, Legal Aid Practitioners Group

Paul Fitzgerald, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Leicester LGBT Centre

Sean Humber, Head of Human Rights Department, Leigh Day

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive, Lesbian and Gay Foundation

Jenny Rowlands, Chief Executive, Lewes District Council

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, LGBT Consortium

Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Director, Liberty

Anna Gaughan, Chief Executive, Life Story Network

Eithne Rynne, Chief Executive, London Voluntary Service Council

Phillip Watson, Chief Executive, Manor Gardens Welfare Trust

Paula Twigg, Director, Mary Ward Legal Centre

Dan Squires, Head of Human Rights Department, Matrix Chambers

Emma Mlotshwa, Coordinator, Medical Justice

Zrinka Bralo, Executive Director, Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum

Don Flynn, Director, Migrants Rights Network

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive Officer, Mind

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive, NAT (National Aids Trust)

Annette Lawson OBE, Chair, National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO)

Des Kelly OBE, Executive Director, National Care Forum

Rob Greig, Chief Executive, National Development Team for Inclusion

Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive, National Voices

Gabby Briner, Chief Executive Officer, Network for Change

Julia Lyford, Chair, North East Equalities Network

Colin Devine, Coordinator, North West Community Network

Anjona Roy, Chief Executive, Northamptonshire Rights & Equality Council

Patrick Yu, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities

Sarah Yiannollou, Managing Director, NSUN

Kath Parson, Chief Executive, Older People's Advocacy Alliance

Karen Chandler, Coordinator, Pembrokeshire People First

Sally Daghlian OBE, Chief Executive, Praxis

Lu Thomas, Chair, Pride Cymru

Juliet Lyon CBE, Director, Prison Reform Trust

Ross Diamond, Chief Officer, Redbridge Council for Voluntary Services

Carla Ferstman, Director, Redress

Rita Chadha, Chief Executive Officer, Refugee & Migrant Forum of East London

Maurice Wren, Chief Executive, Refugee Council

Shauna Leven, Director, Rene Cassin

Clare Algar, Executive Director, Reprieve

Emma Scott, Director, Rights of Women

Michele Lamb, Head of Department of Social Science, Roehampton University

Andy Gregg, Chief Executive, ROTA (Race on the Agenda)

Professor Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive Officer, Royal College of Midwives

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing

Dr Omar Khan, Director, Runnymede Trust

Barbara Natasegra, Chief Executive, Safer Wales

Marjorie Wallace CBE, Chief Executive, SANE

Robert Sutherland, Convener, SCOLAG

Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive, Scope

Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People

Jane Gordon, Co-Founder, Sisters for Change

Sharon Allen, Chief Executive Officer, Skills for Care

Cath Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP

Daisy Bogg, Co-Chair, Social Perspective Network

Briget Robb, General Secretary, Social Workers Union

Hannana Siddiqui, Coordinator, Southall Black Sisters

Jan Gavin, Chief Executive, Southern Advocacy Services

Gil Baldwin MBE, Chief Executive Officer  , St Andrew's Healthcare

Joy Hibbins, Director, Suicide Crisis

Ngoyi Barthelemy Malumba, Managing Director, Tameside Human Rights Watch

Dr Rosemary Gillespie, Chief Executive, Terrence Higgins Trust

Dr Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director, The Equal Rights Trust

Sarah Rochira, The Older People's Commissioner for Wales

Jon Barrick, Chief Executive Officer, The Stroke Association

Juliet Harris, Director, Together Scotland

Penelope Gibbs, Director, Transform Justice

Martin Coyle, Director, True Voice

Frances O'Grady, General Secretary, TUC

Bridget Warr, Chief Executive Officer, UK Homecare Association

Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON

Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary, Unite 

Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association - UK

Alexandra Runswick, Director, Unlock Democracy

Mike Sherriff, Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Islington

Phil Jarrold, Chief Executive, Wales Council for Voluntary Action

Steve Clark, Managing Director, Welsh Tenants

Eleri Butler, Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid

Jonathon Toye, Co-ordinator, West Norfolk Disability Information Service

Joyce Kallevik, Director, Wish

Rachel Halford, Director, Women in Prison

Vivienne Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Resource Centre

Polly Neate, Chief Executive Officer, Women's Aid

Annie Campbell, Director, Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland

Sharon Baxter, Trustee and Chair of the Advocacy Committee, Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance

Harkirit Bopari, Coordinator, York City of Human Rights

Tom Doyle, Chief Executive, Yorkshire MESMAC Group of Services