2021 has been a hard year for all of us, but at BIHR we were lucky enough to be involved in some amazing project and work with incredible people groups and organisations. Below the team share their favourite bits of 2021.









Natalie

In the 9 months that I have worked at BIHR as a Human Rights Officer, I have been lucky enough to be involved with multiple exciting projects that make rights real for people every day. As part of my job, I get to meet interesting people from all walks of life. People who are accessing services and are unsure on what rights they have, or how best to use them to challenge decisions. Community heroes advocating for people’s rights. Staff working in services that have been under unimaginable pressure caused by the pandemic, who still want the very best for the people that they support and serve. I have also been lucky enough to meet incredible colleagues across the human rights and NGO world who work tirelessly to defend and promote human rights in the UK.  

 

My favourite thing this year has been my involvement with BIHR’s Government Consultation Project. What started as a chat about team frustrations around increased numbers of consultations taking place in a narrowing time frame, soon took on a life of its own to become a project in its own right. Working on such an innovative and inclusive piece of policy work has been a fantastic start to my journey with BIHR. Through this project, I have met countless inspirational characters, that all want to feed into Government policy creation through consultation. Consultation is cornerstone to our democratic model in the UK and should be accessible to all. No policy should be created or changed without thorough a consultation process, including listening to the people that have lived experiences and can truly illustrate how an ineffective policy or changes to policy affects real lives. Sadly, the scope to feed into consultation is tightening. This project addresses that and pushes for a rights-respecting fresh approach to policy making in the UK.  

 

The project is a long way from being finished, it might never have an ‘end point’. However, creating a space for people to come together and talk freely about their frustrations with ‘tokenistic’ and ‘inaccessible’ (participants words!) consultation processes whilst finding a way to collectively challenge these processes have been my favourite thing of 2021!