Human Rights Day 2022: Community Mobilisation
Every year on 10th December, we celebrate Human Rights Day to mark the anniversary of the day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was formally introduced. While not legally binding, the UDHR laid the foundation for human rights law in the UK and ultimately inspired our Human Rights Act.
Article 1 of the UDHR says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
This Human Rights Day, this message is more important than ever. Over the past year, we’ve seen sustained attacks on our human rights protections from the UK Government – from an inaccessible consultation on getting rid of our Human Rights Act launched just 7 days after Human Rights Day 2021 to the unevidenced, unworkable and unprincipled Rights Removal Bill. But we’ve also seen communities from across the UK come together to stand up for our human rights. 100s of people used our template letters to write to MPs; 1000s read our guides and attended events; 10,000s responded to the Government Consultation; and 100,000s signed the petition to save our Human Rights Act. And everyday, countless people champion our Human Rights Act by putting it into practice – using it to achieve better outcomes for themselves and each other.
On news of the Rights Removal Bill being paused before its second reading, our CEO Sanchita said, “this is welcome news. Not least to the thousands of people across the UK that we support at BIHR, the individuals, community groups, public service workers, and campaigners who have joined with us to speak up for our Human Rights Act and resist the Government’s Rights Removal Bill…We have achieved a powerful force of civil society voices speaking together over the last two years. What we really need now is the commitment to champion and bed down our Human Rights Act to make real positive changes for people every day and ensure the political environment is not receptive to the removal of our human rights.”
In this vein, our Human Rights Day 2022 celebrations are all about communities coming together to champion human rights. We hosted a free, online event where we heard from community representatives we’ve partnered with in the past on how they use our Human Rights Act in real life, and launched our new Community Programme, where we're offering communities the chance to apply for free human rights workshops.
We invited organisations to join as signatories to our annual Human Rights Day letter to the Prime Minister and over 150 organisation. The letter calls on the Prime Minister and political leaders to safeguard our human rights and democratic accountability here at home, by standing firm on the UK’s Human Rights Act.
We also worked with Pembrokeshire People First and advocacy groups to create an Easy Read letter and accompanying video.
We also asked our social media community to come together and spread awareness of our Human Rights Act through our online challenge. From 5th-11th December, people shared what they thought others should know about human rights in the UK. Check out the posts by searching #KnowYourHumanRights and @BIHRHumanRights on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
You can also still access and use the captions and images in our Social Media Pack (which are free to use/edit).
We’re continuing amplifying the voices of people from different communities and with different experiences of using our Human Rights Act through our Why Our Human Rights Act Matters series.
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