2020 has been an extraordinary year; the global community has faced a global health emergency, unlike any other in generations. As the United Nations has made clear countries must take action to prevent the health crisis from becoming a human rights crisis. People’s legally protected rights are at risk, our rights to life, liberty, choice, family live, wellbeing, support and participation in our communities, and non-discrimination.

2020 is also the 70th Anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights; the regional law, which we brought into UK law through the Human Rights Act. The Act creates a set of powerful duties to ensure people’s everyday interactions with public officials – from central government to local NHS services – are accountable, and focused on upholding equal dignity and respect. Sadly, people’s understanding and use of the Human Rights Act on a day to day basis is limited at best, yet as we’ve faced disproportionate and discriminatory responses to Covid-19, the importance of our human rights has been sharply felt this year.

As BIHR turns 50 this year, we are hosting a reception to reflect on the role and value of human rights, and our Human Rights Act in 2020 and beyond, and with it the Convention itself.

Our reception will be hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson


With the following panellists sharing their insights:


We will conclude with an closing address from Sir Nicolas Bratza, former President of the European Court of Human Rights:

We will be sharing insigts from the session on social media, follow us on Twitter at @BIHRhumanrights using #HumanRightsDay and #MakingChange