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Weekly Human Rights News: 04-11-22

We joined Lived Experience Experts to talk to NHS staff about rights-respecting care

We’re running a programme with NHS staff working in Children & Young People’s Inpatient Mental Health Services. It focuses on building staff knowledge and capacity to positively and proactively uphold human rights when supporting children and young people with mental health issues. The programme is designed and delivered with Lived Experience Experts to ensure that the experiences of young people and their families is at the heart of it.

On Tuesday 1st November, we ran two sessions where staff had the opportunity to discuss their own experiences of supporting young people and consider how they can use the Human Rights Act as a tool in their practice.

We met with our RITES Committee to talk about our next steps

Our RITES Committee (standing for real-life insights, tips, experiences and stories) is made up of experts by experience who have used our Human Rights Act to achieve change – for themselves, the people they work with or their loved ones.

On Wednesday 2nd November, we met to talk about how we can work together to stand up for our Human Rights Act. Stay tuned for more news and resources from the RITES Committee soon!

We held our monthly team meeting and met with our trustees

On Monday 31st October 2022, our team met in person to reflect on the work we’ve been doing this month and plan for the future. As well as our ongoing programmes, we talked about our plans for Human Rights Day 2022 and our work to protect our Human Rights Act – especially in light of recent changes in the UK Government.

Our trustees also came along to meet the team and learn more about the work we do day-to-day.

News from elsewhere

Please be aware that the external human rights news BIHR shares weekly contains difficult and potentially triggering issues. This week triggers include murder and domestic abuse.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights wrote to the Justice Secretary

On Friday 28th October, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) wrote to Justice Secretary Dominic Raab to discuss the Rights Removal Bill. The JCHR pointed out that previous Justice Secretary, Brandon Lewis, told them the Justice department was going to reconsider the Bill and the report of the Independent Human Rights Act Review (which found no case for changing the Human Rights Act).

The JCHR asked Dominic Raab to confirm whether he still plans to do this and also said they would try to arrange a time for him to appear in front of the Committee before Christmas.

They have asked him to reply by Friday 11th November 2022.

Read the JCHR’s letter here.

A Minister confirmed people seeking asylum are being detained illegally in Kent

Manston Processing Centre is a former military base where asylum seekers are taken for security and identity checks. People are only meant to stay there for up to 24 hours – but many have been held there for many days. There is also only space for 1,600 people but up to 4,000 have been held at the centre in “terrible conditions”.

Charity Detention Action has supported a woman being detained in bringing legal action against the Home Office. They have hired solicitors Duncan Lewis, who have sent a pre-action protocol letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman. The letter raises issues including serious threats to the safety of children and inadequate legal advice.

Climate Minister Graham Stuart said that it was “obviously not” acceptable for asylum seekers to be detained at Manson illegally and that “none of us are comfortable with it.”

Source: The Guardian

Judge Síofra O’Leary became the first woman and first Irish person to be President of the European Court of Human Rights

On Monday 19th September, Judge Síofra O’Leary was elected the new President of the European Court of Human Rights. She formally took up the position on Tuesday 1st November, making her the first woman and first Irish person to hold the position.

Source: Scottish Legal News

The Scottish Human Rights Commission published its annual report

On Monday 31st October, the Scottish Human Rights Commission laid its 2022 annual report before Scottish Parliament. In the report, the Commission said, “A key priority was our defence of the Human Rights Act, as the UK Government moved to replace it with a new “Bill of Rights.” At the time of writing, the “Bill of Rights” has been withdrawn, but we will keep a watching brief on this significant challenge to rights in Scotland.”

Read the report.

The Police paid damages to the family of a woman murdered by her ex-partner

In 2016, Kerry Power was murdered at her home by her former partner. When she knew she was in danger, she dialled 999 and stayed silent on the call because she had been told to do this by a police officer in the past. However, officers did not respond to the call.

The police later said that she should have pressed “5” twice so the police would know it was a genuine call – but Kerry had not been told this.

Kerry’s family began a case against the police for breaching their positive obligations to protect Kerry’s human rights under the Human Rights Act. The police agreed to an out-of-court damage settlement and provided the family with a written apology, saying, “Public awareness around how to use the 999 system and the implications of the silent solution have also been built into our training and communication plans.”

Kerry’s brother said, “"We hope those obstacles to getting the right advice have now been removed and lives will be saved in the future.”

Source: ITV News

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