Stephen Bowen launches BIHR's March for Human Rights campaign

There is no shortage of bad news and quite a lot of talk about fake news at the moment, but we’ve got some good news. Every day during the month of March we are going to be reminding this great nation of ours just how valuable our human rights are.

The idea that every single member of the human family is born free and equal in dignity and rights is simple but profound. Rather than concentrating on what divides us, human rights is about what joins us together. Grounded in our shared sense of human dignity, our Human Rights Act is what helps us to make sure that those in power play by the rules.

Over the last thirty years, I’ve had the privilege to work alongside human rights defenders in places where human rights can still be seen only as a dream, such as Gaza strip, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia. Back here at home in the UK, it’s always surprised me how we can still sometimes take these rights for granted, and forget to celebrate them. Indeed, when I look back at the last 6 years at BIHR, it has to be recognised that human rights have at times become a political football. All too often politicians and the media have lined up to scorn our Human Rights Act, the very laws and institutions, which have so painstakingly been created to make the dream of a world free from fear and a world free from want, a reality here at home.

Some words of wisdom I often go back to is the observation that, through human rights, “trust is thus placed in the responsibility of the common man and woman – and less in the wisdom of a leading elite” (as written by Christian Tomuschat).

I have always believed that one of our greatest political freedoms is our freedom of speech. So add your voice in celebration today, and every day in March, for all that’s been achieved and all that still needs to be achieved. Tell your family and friends, tell your colleagues and neighbours, and tell the world that you are alright with human rights.