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Weekly Human Rights News: 02-02-24

This week’s human rights news includes our upcoming Human Rights Open Day and a new case on asylum accommodation.

Come to our Human Rights Open Day in London

On Thursday 8th February, we’ll be in Finsbury Park with Just Fair as part of our London Communities Human Rights Programme. If you’re part of a community or voluntary group, join us to find out about the UK’s human rights law and how you can use it in your work and advocacy to improve the lives of people in your community.

We’ll also be explaining how you can apply to be a community partner as part of our five-year programme. Each community partner organisation will receive bespoke training and funding to support them to put human rights into action.

We attended an event about Human Rights Officers in NHS trusts

On Wednesday 31st January, BIHR attended an event led by Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust and the Restraint Reduction Network on the benefits of employing a Human Rights Officer within NHS trusts. BIHR supported the recruitment and upskilling of Sheffield's Human Rights Officer and the event shared the difference this post has made in practice such as in-house human rights reviews of policies on blanket restrictions, seclusion and restraint. Human Rights Officers are also able to offer immediate human rights advice on complex care situations. These changes lead to better outcomes for people accessing services. If you work for a public body and would like to support to recruit and upskill a Human Rights Officer of your own, get in touch with us to enquire about training.

We’re starting a human rights in SENDIASS blog series

Throughout the spring, BIHR will be producing a series of blogs (hopefully with some guest appearances!) explaining why human rights are important in the SEND sphere. We will investigate specific issues and how to address them as well as creating a letter template that can be used to help parents with this. 

If you would like to take part, or if you have any questions please get in touch with Phoebe: 

Look out for blogs on the right to private and family life; the right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment in relation to residential schools and high care needs students; the right to possessions including fiddle toys and learning aids; blanket policies; school transport; and how to write to public bodies about human rights.

News from Elsewhere

The High Court found a local authority breached the human rights of a disabled man in Home Office accommodation

A man referred to as TMX is seeking asylum in the UK along with his wife and children. He has multiple sclerosis and functional neurological disorder.

He and his family were placed in one en-suite hotel room by the home office. TMX didn’t have space for He didn't have space for his disability-related equipment and didn't have adapted toilet/shower facilities or appropriate privacy for personal care.

The Local Authority acknowledged TMX had eligible care needs under the Care Act but said responsibility for providing accommodation lay with the Home Office. The High Court said that asylum accommodation is meant to be a last resort for people who are not entitled to any other form of accommodation. TMX was entitled to accommodation under the Care Act and so responsibility for finding him appropriate accommodation lay with the Local Authority.

The High Court said the conditions TMX was made to live in breached his Article 3 right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment and his Article 8 right to private and family life.

Read more about the case

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