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Your rights

Where do my rights apply?

At BIHR we work across the whole range of internationally defined human rights. Ensuring people are treated with dignity and respect by those with public power underpins our commitment to putting universal human rights at the heart of people's everyday experiences across the UK. We use the power of our domestic legislation, our Human Rights Act (HRA), to bring these rights to life in their everyday lives.

Our human rights apply to all our interactions with the UK Government and public bodies, which covers a range of issues such as health, education, social welfare, housing and more. This means that even though a specific issue or area of concern may not be explicitly named as one of the 16 rights in our Human Rights Act, the Act itself may still be relevant.

For example, although there is no explicit right to housing, courts have previously found that the right to not be treated in an inhuman or degrading way meant some people who would otherwise be destitute are entitled to housing and financial support.

Respect, protect, fulfil

How does the Human Rights Act work?

The Human Rights Act places a duty on all public bodies to respect, protect and fulfil 16 fundamental rights. Read more about your human right and how they're protected in the UK.

Browse by topic

Below are some areas we’ve worked on so far – but this list is constantly updating. Click on each button to read about how our Human Rights Act applies in different areas:

The 16 Rights

What Rights Do I Have?

Our Human Rights Act takes 16 of the fundamental human rights written into the European Convention on Human Rights and puts them into UK law. This means they can be enforced in UK courts rather than having to go the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Professor Chris Frost, Why Our Human Rights Act Matters to Journalists

"The Human Rights Act currently protects us from an over officious state by guaranteeing our privacy unless a court warrant is sought and agreed. Writing a “trump card” for a freedom of expression we already have would weaken our right to privacy from the state."

Bea Pitel, Why Our Human Rights Act Matters to Children & Families

"For the last twenty years, the Human Rights Act has been standing up for the UK’s children. If you were a child, or have had children or grandchildren during this period, then it has been there for you too."

Rani Selvarajah, Why Our Human Rights Act Matters in Ending Violence Against Women & Girls

"The Human Rights Act is a critical tool in upholding women’s rights and challenging failures by the State in how it responds to and prevents violence against women and girls"

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BIHR provides information and training on human rights law in the UK. We work with individuals, communities and public bodies every day to help them put our Human Rights Act into practice and improve outcomes for people accessing services. We also amplify the voices of the people we work with through our policy work, ensuring the real stories of how our Human Rights Act is being used across the UK reach the people with the power to change laws and systems.

BIHR does not offer legal advice or represent clients. If you or someone you know is facing a human rights issue, you can find a list of organisations that may be able to support you on our help page.

BIHR focuses on human rights in the UK and so is not able to comment on international issues.

Our work with public bodies shows us that staff want to achieve the best possible outcomes for the people they support - but are often facing tough decisions, tight time and budgetary constraints and a complex max of laws and regulations. 

Our Human Rights Act provides a legal framework that requires them to uphold human rights whenever possible. By equipping staff with the knowledge, confidence and legal framework they need to back up rights-respecting decisions, we can help give them the courage to balance risks with rights and achieve better outcomes for people accessing services.