BIHR & the RRN launch new resources on Human Rights and Surveillance Since July 2021, we've been working in partnership with the Restraint Reduction Network to create new resources aimed at helping individuals and organisations to know their rights and responsibilities around surveillance and human rights. Today, we are delighted to share these with you! 1. Easy Read Guide to Cameras in Health and Social Care and Human Rights Click on the picture or link below to open this resource. BIHR Easy Read Guide to Cameras in Health and Social Care and Human Rights 2. A Plain Language Guide to Human Rights and Surveillance in Health and Social Care Click on the picture or link below to open this resource. BIHR plain language guide to Human Rights and Surveillance in Health and Social Care 3. BIHR and the RRN Joint Explainer- Surveillance: A restrictive practice and a human rights issue Click on the picture or link or below to open this resource BIHR and RRN Joint Explainer – Surveillance: A restrictive practice and a human rights issue 4. Easy Download Poster on Surveillance and Human Rights Click on the picture or link below to open this resource. RRN One-Page Easy Download Poster on Surveillance 5. RRN Manager Alexis Quinn’s blog – Surveillance and the Elephant in the Room Click on the picture or link below to open the blog. RRN Manager Alexis Quinn’s blog – Surveillance and the Elephant in the Room 6. 'Surveillance: A rights-based approach' webinar WATCH THIS SPACE! RRN and BIHR are hosting a 'Surveillance: A rights-based approach' webinar to explore the topic further on Tuesday 2nd November. Sign up to our waiting list to be the first to hear further details at: bit.ly/RRNsurveillance Words from the RRN and BIHR Alexis Quinn, Restraint Reduction Network Manager, said: “Surveillance is undoubtedly an ethical issue. How would you respond if the government mandated that CCTV should be installed in every room in your house, including your bedroom, with the aim of promoting your health and protecting you from harm? You might be outraged or even set to the streets to protest. We all have a fundamental right to privacy. “At RRN, we recognise that the use of surveillance is complex. It can be really helpful and important. Yet when not used correctly it might breach a person’s rights. We are calling for its use to be proportionate, justified and lawful. “We are thrilled to have worked in collaboration with the British Institute of Human Rights to develop new resources that will help staff, leaders, people with lived experience and family members to understand their rights when it comes to surveillance.” Annie Smith, Human Rights Officer at the British Institute of Human Rights, said: “At BIHR, we work directly with people accessing (or trying to access) public services, advocacy groups, and staff working in public bodies. We also work with decision makers to ensure law and policy supports our human rights. When people tell us that their rights are at risk because of the policies or practice of public bodies, we push for change. “Recently, people have been telling us that CCTV and other forms of surveillance are being used more and more across services, especially in health and social care services. We know that this type of monitoring can sometimes be helpful and rights-respecting, but we have to see it for what it is: a significant restriction on someone’s human rights, particularly the right to respect for private life (Article 8 of the Human Rights Act). “In our new Explainer and Easy Read guide, we explain how using surveillance in hospitals, in care homes and supported living, or in people’s own homes, impacts on human rights and what the law says staff working in public services should do if and when surveillance is being considered. We are pleased to be teaming up with the RRN to raise awareness of this issue and make sure people know their rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Act.” What can I do if I think my rights, or the rights of someone I care about, are at risk? If you are worried that a public body or care provider is using cameras or other recording equipment in a way which does not respect your human rights, you can: Identify the issue. Think about the use of cameras or other recording equipment and what has been done wrong, how this has impacted you and who has made the decision to use this. Which human rights are at risk? Is this absolute or non-absolute? If absolute, take action straight away. If non-absolute, is the decision lawful, for a legitimate aim, and proportionate? Raise the issue informally with a public official. You could ask to have a meeting to talk about the use of cameras or other recording equipment. If you need support, you could ask friends, family, a support worker or an advocate to help you. Think about what you want to know from them, and what you want to happen next. Make it formal: write a letter. If you can’t fix the problem informally, you could write a letter of complaint. Click here to get our letter template and guide from our Know Your Human Rights Step up your action. Contact the public official again if you need to. You could ask them to tell you why they decided to use cameras or other recording equipment in the way they did and how they have thought about their legal duties to respect and protect your human rights. Take further action. Follow the internal complaints procedure. Complain to the Information Commissioners Office. This operates across all four UK nations. Make a complaint to the Ombudsman. Contact an independent care regulator to tell them what is happening. In England, this is called the Care Quality Commission. In Wales, there is the Care Inspectorate Wales and the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales. In Scotland, there is the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland. In Northern Ireland, the health and social care regulator is called the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority. Get some legal advice. Where can I find more information? BIHR and the Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) resources to help people: BIHR's webpage on Cameras and Human Rights BIHR Easy Read Guide to Cameras in Health and Social Care and Human Rights News: Restraint Reduction Network launch surveillance resources to help protect human rights BIHR and RRN Joint Explainer – Surveillance: A restrictive practice and a human rights issue RRN One-Page Easy Download Poster on Surveillance RRN Manager Alexis Quinn’s blog – Surveillance and the Elephant in the Room Other organisations have also produced some resources around the use of surveillance in health and social care: Care Quality Commission – Using cameras or other recording equipment to check somebody’s care SCIE – Electronic surveillance in health and social care settings: a brief review If you are an organisation with resources we can add here, please get in touch with us, we'd love to share! PLEASE NOTE: BIHR Explainers are provided for information purposes. These resources do not constitute legal advice. The law may have changed from the date of writing.