Our Vision & Mission
We all want to live safe and well, knowing that the authorities will support our rights; our Human Rights Act helps make this happen. At BIHR we see the value of the Human Rights Act every day in our work with people accessing services, community and advocacy groups, and staff working in public services. Together we use our Human Rights Act to secure social justice in what Eleanor Roosevelt called the “small places, close to home.”
In 2020 BIHR turned 50, and in preparation for this we commissioned a Strategic Review with support from Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. This helped us explore the organisation’s key achievements, reflect on our unique contribution to the UK human rights field and wider voluntary sector, and importantly, how to best secure and strengthen our role. Through this process, which engaged with a broad range of stakeholder, the Board of Trustees, CEO and staff team, recalibrated BIHR’s strategic direction to
- build on our unique role in providing the support needed to secure everyday social change through human rights, and
- developing a bold new approach to policy work that places the people we support at the centre of national change to better secure our human rights.
BIHR’s vision is of a strong and just society, in which all people can live well and flourish, safe in the knowledge that their human rights are being respected, protected, and fulfilled in their local communities and at the national level.
Our mission is to enable positive change and social justice through the practical use of our Human Rights Act, working with people, communities, public bodies, and policymakers across the UK.
We support people accessing (or trying to access) public services and their community and advocacy groups to use Human Rights Act-based advocacy to secure dignity and respect. We work with staff and leaders in public bodies and services to live up to their duties to uphold human rights. Our practical work enables our policy work to be fully informed by people’s experiences of their human rights.
Every day we are inspired by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, who famously chaired the committee which drafted our first international instrument, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the aftermath of the Second World War:
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
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