Our Mission  

Founded over 40 years ago the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) is an independent charity working to bring human rights to life here at home. We empower people to:

  • know what human rights are (and often what they are not)
  • use them in practice achieve positive change in everyday life without resorting to the courts, and
  • make sure those in power respect and progress our human rights laws and systems.

At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to making sure the international promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, developed after the horrors of World War II, is made real here at home. Our innovative work seeks to achieve a society where human rights are respected as the cornerstone of our democracy and enable each of us to live well in communities that value the equal dignity of each person.

Our education, research and advocacy work supports people and organisations to realise the potential of human rights to empower people and to transform organisations. By doing so, we inspire a new generation of organisations and individuals to recognise that human rights are the standards by which we should live, and to live up to their human rights responsibilities.

Find out more about what we do here.

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What we achieve

  • Reaching over 5000 people through the Human Rights Tour, our free community outreach programme, providing a space for learning and debate on what human rights mean here at home
  • Empowering over 3000 carers with our Pocket Guide on Human Rights and countless others through our practical plain English resources
  • Training over 10,000 staff from over 1000 public and voluntary sector organisations to better understand what human rights means for their work
  • Recognised expertise as the preferred practice partner in projects with the public sector and community groups on mainstreaming human rights
  • Developing the Department of Health’s Framework for Action for NHS organisations to integrate human rights
  • Securing changes to legislation to clarify the human rights responsibilities of organisations providing people with health and social care
  • Supporting people to speak up about the importance of human rights here at home through the Human Rights Charter
  • Leading civil society activities to mark Human Rights Day on the 10 December each year, including through an open letter from over 100 organisations published in the national media and initiatives by people in their local communities