2020 is almost over and what a year it has been. The world is a very different place today than it was on the 1st January. We take a look back at an unprecedented year (we promise that is the last time we will use the word “unprecedented”!)

The Year Started with a Review

In 2020 BIHR turned 50 years old. In preparation for turning 50, we commissioned a Strategic Review in 2019, with the support of one of our funders, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

This helped us explore our key achievements, our unique contribution to the human rights field and wider voluntary sector, and how to best secure and strengthen our role within the sector and wider policy and practice circles.

Through this process the Board of Trustees, with the Director and staff team, recalibrated BIHR’s strategic direction: building on our unique role in providing the support needed to secure local level social change through human rights, and developing a bold new approach to policy work which places people at the centre of national change to better respect and protect people’s human rights. You can read more about our 2020-2025 Strategic Framework here.

Our Model for Change 

At BIHR we work in four different areas, all of which feed into each other. Our mission and aims remain the same as they always have. However, since the start of the pandemic, we like so many other organisations have moved the majority of our work online. 

In this video Carlyn, our Programmes and Policy Manager, explains more about our model for making change through human rights:

Covid-19 and Our Work in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of our lives over the past year. However, it has been clear that those in already vulnerable situations have been most at risk of human rights violations.  

According to research we conducted over the past year, over 16.3% of people who access services that responded to our survey experienced the right to life not being protected due to reduced services or the prioritization of other services. Nearly 28% of people experienced a reduction in care or support which resulted in dignity not being upheld and over 50% of people experienced restrictions which impacted their right to mental and physical well-being and to family life.

It was clear, from the very beginning of the pandemic that the impact on our human rights would be sharply felt. We submitted a briefing to the House of Commons and the House of Lords on the Coronavirus Bill, raising our concerns that passing this Bill which contains changes to existing legislation without a robust human rights impact assessment would have serious consequences for people and their families. You can read more about that work here.

To find out more information about our work over the past year click the buttons below: