Skip to main content Skip to footer

Weekly Human Rights News: 01-09-23

This week’s human rights news includes a climate change case before the European Court of Human Rights and an NHS worker who used human rights to support a young person in a mental health tribunal.

We had a taster session for SENDIASS managers

On Thursday 31st August, we ran a two-hour online session for managers in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Services (SENDIASS). The workshop was led by Human Rights Officer Phoebe, who used to work in SENDIASS, and focused on the right to liberty and the right to private and family life. 

100% of attendees surveyed said that after the workshop, they were more likely to rely on the Human Rights Act to make positive changes in their life or work with 66% saying they would challenge or change a decision about someone's individual access to support or services.

A workshop participant told us how they’ve used the Human Rights Act to support a young person at a Mental Health Act tribunal

An NHS worker and participant from our Practice Leads Programme for staff in inpatient Children & Young People’s Mental Health Services got in touch to tell us how her human rights training helped her support a young person accessing services. The young person had been sectioned in hospital for some months with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. They were eating regularly and their weight was stable and healthy but the hospital was hesitant to revoke the section and was not allowing a lot of leave to see family and friends. The NHS worker raised concerns about the young person’s right to liberty and right to respect for private and family life. The section was revoked and the young person was able to move to being an informal patient with more opportunities to engage with friends and hobbies. The young person said they had a newfound respect for the NHS worker and this helped therapeutic relationships.

News from Elsewhere

The European Court of Human Rights will hear a case on climate change  

The European Court of Human Rights is hearing a case against 33 countries (including the UK) on Wednesday 27th September. 23-year-old Cláudia Duarte Agostinho and five other young people from Portugal are arguing that storms and forest fires are directly caused by global warming. They say the countries that signed up to the Paris Agreement (an international treaty on climate change) have breached their right to life, right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment and right to private and family life by failing to introduce measures to limit emissions. They also say the countries have breached the right to be free from discrimination because climate change will have a greater impact on the younger generation. 

Read the press release 


The UK Government did not attend a United Nations review of its treatment of disabled people 

Around every five years, a United Nations Committee reviews how well countries are implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the UK has signed up to. This week, the UK was due to give an update to the Committee but did not attend and said it would instead give an update in March 2024. The Committee instead heard from disability rights groups and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, who said that “many disabled people continue to face discrimination in the UK, and the situation continues to worsen, particularly in light of the current cost-of-living pressures. 

Source: BBC News 

Share this

Stay up-to-date

Get our newsletter

Get monthly updates on UK human rights law and our work, resources and events sent straight to your inbox.