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Weekly Human Rights News: 10-03-23

This week’s news includes our work with community partners and a Parliamentary report on the Anti-Strike Bill.

It’s the last week to apply for our Administration Officer role!

We are looking for a first-rate administrator to join the BIHR team as Administration Officer and oversee the charity’s day-to-day administration – work vital to ensuring that we are a strong organisation with the administrative foundations needed to perform our work effectively and efficiently.

The deadline for applications is 10.00 am on Monday 13th March 2023.

We summarised the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ Rights Removal Bill report

On Tuesday 7th March 2023, the Home Secretary introduced a new Bill called the “Illegal Migration Bill”. Campaigners across the UK are calling it the "Anti-Refugee Bill”. The Bill puts a duty on the Home Secretary to arrange the removal of people who come to the UK without permission if they have not arrived directly from a country where their life and liberty is at risk. If they make an asylum claim, it will be declared “inadmissible” – so it won’t be heard – and there is no right to appeal.

The Bill was not published until after the Home Secretary’s speech. It is now available to read online. It has some things in common with the Rights Removal Bill – including that it raises a number of human rights concerns. Head to our blog to watch clips and read about what some MPs had to say about the Bill, including concerns about the UK's future membership of the European Convention on Human Rights.

We met with some of our new community partners to plan our human rights workshops

As part of our work to support people and communities to put rights into actions, we’re running free awareness-raising workshops with community groups to help them understand and access human rights. This week, our Human Rights Officers have met with some of our partners to create tailored materials that will benefit their communities. We’re excited to bring these workshops to life over the next couple of months and to lead into the next phase of our current community programme.

News from Elsewhere

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said the Anti-Strike Bill fails to meet human rights obligations

The Committee released a report on the Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Bill (commonly known as the “Anti-Strike Bill”). This Bill would allow the Government to set “minimum service levels” during times when people are on strike in healthcare; fire and rescue; education; transport; decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel; and border security.

In its report, the Committee says “the lack of any limits on the level of service that the Secretary of State may impose by regulations risks a failure to comply" with the Article 11 right to association and assembly because it could allow for random interferences with the right to strike rather than legitimate and proportionate ones.

Read the full report.


A court found Croydon Council breached two children’s right to education

Ms Bell and her two disabled children, ZB and DB, were placed in temporary accommodation by the Council. The Council’s occupational therapist said both children “have high moving and handling needs, large equipment requirements, need hoisting for all transfers and are fully dependent on carers to meet all of their needs.” However, the Council did not provide a property that met these needs. In fact, DB’s bedroom was upstairs and because he could not manage the stairs himself, and it was difficult for his mother to carry him, he was largely confined there.

This made it difficult for both children to attend school as Ms Bell had to stay home with him. The Council also failed to arrange suitable transport to the children’s school or to enrol them in a special educational needs school. The Court held that the Council had breached the children’s right to education (Article 2, Protocol 1) and their right not to be discriminated against (Article 14).

Read the case.

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