Weekly Human Rights News: 09-02-24
This week’s human rights news includes opportunities to get involved with our programmes and a new case on freedom of thought.
Next week we are launching our community support solutions
We are excited to announce the launch of our co-designed human rights support solutions. Over the last six months, we have been working closely with six community groups across the UK to create six co-designed human rights support solutions to assist community groups to use Human Rights in their work.
Each resource has been designed for their respective community group, geared towards their needs and issues that they are addressing as an organization; however, they can be used by anyone, and they are completely free!
The organizations we worked with are:
- Migrants’ Rights Network
- Families in Trauma and Recovery
- My Life My Choice
- All Together in Dignity Fourth World UK
- All Wales People First
- Fair Justice System Scotland
The resources will be available publicly on our website from 12th February 2024, and we will be spotlighting a different resource every day on our website and social media from 12th February to 16th February 2024.
We held our first information session for our Awareness-Raising Workshops
We’re pleased to have reopened applications for the 2024 cycle of awareness-raising workshops for community and voluntary groups across the UK. We are offering bespoke, introductory online workshops for up to 20 applicants. The workshops will focus on the practical use of the Human Rights Act and how it can be used to challenge social injustices and disadvantage which community and voluntary groups are trying to change.
On Wednesday 6th February, Senior Human Rights Officer Annie held our first online information session for community groups considering applying. She’ll be online again on the 13th February for any questions or queries you have about the application process.
We took our Human Rights Open Day to Finsbury Park!
On Thursday 8th February, BIHR and Just Fair hosted our third Human Rights Open Day as part of our London Communities Human Rights Programme. The days offer community and voluntary groups an opportunity to learn more about the UK’s human rights laws and how they can be put into practice outside the courtroom. We also shared more information about our four-year programme and how to apply for funding and support to implement human rights practices and policies.
We completed a Practice Leads Programme with NHS staff
This week, we had our final session with participants in the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Practice Leads programme. We reflected on what looked back at the key rights and issues covered throughout the programme and reflected on the goals participants set for themselves at the beginning. We then worked together to set new goals for the future, which included things like adding human rights to the agenda for supervision, looking at a specific human right in every monthly team meeting to increase staff awareness, and making a conscious effort in meetings and case reviews to ask, "have we thought about human rights?".
One participant said, ““I have thoroughly enjoyed the human rights Practice Leads workshops. It has challenged my thinking, making me question why I do things and how we can ensure human rights are considered in all that we do. It helped me understand human rights are not complicated to understand and they should be the building blocks for all we do in our organisation. The knowledge I have gained from the training has enabled me to be able to quickly review all I do and consider why I am doing it with a human rights perspective. “
News from Elsewhere
Please note that the external news stories shared below often cover upsetting or triggering topics. This week’s news features a case on protected beliefs and Zionism.
The UK Government shared its Disability Action Plan
The UK Government has shared the actions it plans to take in 2024 to “improve disabled people’s everyday lives and lays the foundations for longer-term change.” The plan includes points on support for families and children with special educational needs and disabilities; improving the understanding of the cost of living for disabled people; and making government publications and communications more accessible.
The University of Bristol was found to have discriminated against a professor who was fired for manifesting anti-Zionist beliefs
Dr David Miller was a Professor at the University of Bristol until he was dismissed for gross misconduct. David said this was because he expressed his belief that “Zionism, which he defines as an ideology that asserts that a state for Jewish people ought to be established and maintained in the territory that formerly comprised the British Mandate of Palestine, is inherently racist, imperialist, and colonial.” He took a case to the Employment Tribunal who found that David’s “expression of his anti-Zionist beliefs…had a material impact on” the decision to dismiss him. The Tribunal considered that the Equality Act has to be read compatibly with the Human Rights Act where possible – specifically the Article 9 right to freedom of thought and the Article 10 right to freedom of expression. They found that David’s “anti-Zionist beliefs” were a protected belief and that the dismissal was a disproportionate interference with them and discriminated against David.
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