19 February 2021

Today, we held our fifth and final Human Rights Act Upskilling Session! We set up these Upskilling Sessions to support people, campaigning groups and public officials to learn more about what the Human Rights Act (HRA) is, what it means for you, your group or organisation and how you can act to protect these rights and our HRA.

Specifically, our sessions aimed to upskill and build confidence in the HRA to help as many people and groups as possible to write responses to the Human Rights Act Review (the Review) call for evidence, and the Joint Committee of Human Rights’ Inquiry into the Review and its own call for evidence.

The Review is looking at 20 years of the HRA, but the Review's call for evidence asks narrow legal questions which focus on the HRA in the courts and miss the importance of the HRA in everyday life. We know the HRA is important to lots of people in their interactions with public bodies every single day, in all the small places close to home such as health and care settings, education and housing. We know that the HRA in its current form acts as a powerful tool for making change. It provides a vital safety net for us all.

Our Sessions

We held 5 Upskilling Sessions in total, reaching over 200 people (218 pre HRCS session) from a range of different groups and backgrounds. Our different sessions were:

  1. For people, self-advocates and community groups
  2. For advocacy and campaigning groups, third and voluntary sector organisations
  3. For people working in public service delivery or for a private or charitable body delivering a public service
  4. For the general public and for policy groups with Equally Ours
  5. For the general public specifically in Scotland with Human Rights Consortium Scotland

We are so pleased that a range of fantastic organisations co-badged or joint hosted our sessions with us. A huge thanks to our co-badge partners,  Article 12, Inclusion Gloucestershire, POhWERAll Wales People FirstLearning Disability England, HEAR and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW)!

    

And to our session partners Human Rights Consortium Scotland and Equally Ours too.

  

What we covered

Our sessions covered:

  • What is the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act?
  • What is the HRA, where does it come from and how does it work?
  • What difference does the HRA make?
  • What can I do to protect the HRA? (Even if I only have 5 minutes).

You can find a copy of the slides we used our session with Equally Ours here.

You can watch us talk about our top tips in the session in the clip below:

What can I do to get involved?

Sharing how you use the Human Rights Act everyday really matters. It is important that the panel hears lots of different voices. All our resources to support you can be found in the Human Rights Act Review section of our website.

If you want to respond to the Review you can email it to: [email protected]. You need to do this by 3rd March. If you want to answer the legal questions you can but you don’t have to. It is important that you let them know how you or the people you support have benefited directly from the HRA. Remember to tell the Review who you are and why you are sharing your experiences. You can use the resources below to help you:

If you want to give evidence but don’t want to submit it to the Review you can share your views via our survey (Easy Read) here and we will use it to support our response to the Review.

Share BIHR’s information on social media (@BIHRhumanrights) and talk to people about human rights. Let’s get people talking! You could even get in touch with us about making a video about your experience of using human rights.

You can respond to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ Open Enquiry. The enquiry is broader than the Review and is open until 22nd March. You can submit your evidence here. You can use the same response as you sent to the Review! But it is a good idea to add a short cover to tell the JCHR that you have also sent this response to the Independent Review.