Weekly Human Rights News: 10-11-23
This week’s human rights news includes our Advocacy Awareness Week celebrations and an update on the King’s Speech.
We celebrated Advocacy Awareness Week!
Advocacy Awareness Week is an annual event coordinated by the National Development Team for Inclusion. It’s an opportunity to spotlight the essential role of advocates and self-advocates and celebrate the vital work being done.
This year, we were invited to the National Advocacy Awards hosted by Blackbelt Advocacy and are delighted to have won the Best Supporter Award. We were nominated by three community groups we’ve worked with over the past year, one of whom said, “the BIHR project has been monumental in equipping our staff and volunteers to understand and implement the Human Rights Act in their day-to-day work in supporting women." Read about the awards and hear from our CEO Sanchita in our National Advocacy Awards news story.
We continued our human rights programme with NHS staff
We’re working with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), delivering a a two-part human rights programme open to all staff to support them to embed human rights in their work. On Tuesday 7th November, we ran a workshop focusing on putting human rights into practice. One participant said they “really enjoyed the training programme. Gave me a greater understanding of the act and how to apply it in work and personal life”.
News from Elsewhere
Please be aware that the external human rights news BIHR shares weekly contains difficult and potentially triggering issues. This week’s triggers include protest arrests.
King Charles delivered the King’s Speech 2023
On Tuesday 7th November, Parliament opened for a new Session. There is no fixed length or time for a Parliamentary Session but they typically run for around 12 months. The last Session ran from May 2022 to October 2023. On the day a new Session starts, the reigning monarch will read out a speech written by the Government that sets out its policies and proposed Bills for the new Parliamentary Session. This is known as the "King's Speech".
You can read the King’s Speech 2023 on the UK Government website. Many people have noticed things that were not in the speech, such as the UK Government’s commitment to reform the Mental Health Act. Dr Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of Mind, said of the omission, “today is a huge blow for our community, but we will continue to fight to raise the standard of mental healthcare.”
Protestors were arrested for new offences under the Public Order Act
On Monday 30th October, climate activist group Just Stop Oil began a slow march protest in Parliament Square – where participants walk slowly to block roads. Just Stop Oil say they “demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.” The Metropolitan Police announced that they arrested 61 people within 31 minutes and arrests continued, with the latest update saying there have been 274 arrests since 30th October. Protestors are being arrested under Section 7 of the new Public Order Act, which created the offence of intentional “interference with use or operation of key national infrastructure” (in this case, the road) without reasonable excuse. You can find out more about the Public Order Act on Liberty's website, including concerns about its impact on the right to protest.
Source: The Guardian
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