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Weekly Human Rights News: 10-02-23

This week’s news includes our launch event for resources for young people accessing mental health services and reports that Conservative MPs want to leave the European Convention on Human Rights.

We launched our resources for young people accessing inpatient mental health services and their loved ones

On Friday 10th February, we hosted an online event to launch our human rights guides for children and young people accessing mental health services (CAMHS) and their families. The guides were funded by NHS England as part of a larger programme of human rights change. They are relevant across the UK but were co-produced with those accessing services in England. The Lived Experience Experts who worked on the guides spoke at the event about their experiences in CAMHS settings and why the resources are important for young people and their families.

We’ll be sharing clips from the event on our website and social media pages soon. In the meantime, our guides, poster and Take Action flowchart can all be found on our website along with a short survey. Filling this out helps us to improve our future resources to make sure they’re as helpful and accessible as possible.

We shared our RITES Committee’s Human Rights Act & Cost-of-Living Crisis video series

With the UK facing a cost-of-living crisis, it’s more important than ever that people know and claim their human rights and those in positions of public power are held accountable. In our new series, the RITES Committee explain how our Human Rights Act can and has been used as a tool for advocacy and how tampering with it would remove one of the most powerful mechanisms to challenge harmful economic policies on a national and local level.

The videos cover five key topic areas: housing; welfare benefits; inequality; fuel poverty; and families experiencing domestic abuse.

We talked to NDTi about human rights in care, education and treatment reviews

The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) is a social change organisation that works with communities, governments and public services to enable people at risk of exclusion, due to age or disability, to live the life they choose.

On Wednesday 8th February, our Head of Policy and Programmes, Carlyn, met with the NDTi team to discuss embedding human rights in care, education and treatment reviews. Carlyn covered key rights such as the right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to respect for private and family life, and participants considered how these rights apply to the people they support.

Participants said that at the end of the workshop, they felt "much better informed", "more confident [to] raise possible breaches" and "positive we can be making changes".

News from Elsewhere

Healthcare charities called on NHS England to publish its review of the Accessible Information Standard

In 2022, NHS England started a review of the Accessible Information Standard – the legal duty placed on health and social care providers to give people information in formats they can understand. The review started with an evaluation by the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECSU), which drafted a report with recommendations for improving accessibility. However, this report has not been made public.

Based on the recommendations in the report, NHS England are revising the Accessible Information Standard. The new version was due to be released in April 2023 but looks set to be delayed.

A coalition of national charities that campaign to make health hand social care information accessible wrote to Dr Neil Churchill, Director for Experience, Participation and Equalities at NHS England. They urge him to publish the NECSU report and to give a realistic time frame for the updated Accessible Information Standard to be published.

The coalition have said they are prepared to take further action if needed, such as a “statutory advisory note” from Healthwatch. NHS England would have to set out its response or proposed response to this advice in writing.

Read the full letter.


Human Rights Watch released its World Report 2023

Human Rights Watch’s 33rd annual report summarises human rights conditions in over 100 countries and territories. The report says, “the UK government in 2022 adopted laws that violate rights and proposed significantly weakening human rights protections in domestic law.” It discusses the “flawed consultation process” that was followed by the Rights Removal Bill and also raised human rights issues around asylum laws and the cost-of-living crisis.

Read the UK chapter from the report.


News outlets reported that some members of the Conservative Party want the next manifesto to include leaving the European Convention on Human Rights  

On Sunday 5th February, The Guardian reported that “a number of ministers” want to see the UK leave the European Convention on Human Rights and for this to be part of the party’s manifesto if it can’t be carried out before the next election. It reported that the Prime Minister is considering the move because of concerns that new immigration laws and policies will be found to breach human rights.

You can find out more about how human rights apply to migration and refugee rights on our website and watch our short video on some of the important impact the European Convention on Human Rights has had on our Twitter feed.

Source: The Guardian

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