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Weekly Human Rights News: 13-10-23

This week’s human rights news includes our Rights in Recovery Leadership programme and updates on a Covid vaccine case.

We started the Rights in Recovery Leadership Programme 2023

On Thursday 12th October, our Head of Policy & Programmes, Carlyn, and Senior Human Rights Officer, Charlotte, headed to Glasgow for the first session of this year’s Rights in Recovery Leadership Programme. We’re working with the Scottish Recovery Consortium to advance awareness on rights-based addiction recovery in Scotland and how the Human Rights Act can be used to advocate for better outcomes on a practical level. We had a great first session with participants from recovery organisations around Scotland, with Rights in Recovery Development Officer Tom saying, “what a brilliant group we had for our first Rights in Recovery Leadership Programme today! Can't wait for the next session”.

We talked to young people about their human rights

We’re working with the National Develop Team for Inclusion’s Time to Talk Next Steps programme on supporting young people to know their human rights. The programme is tailored for 16- to 25-year-olds who have additional support needs. On Tuesday 10th October, our CEO, Sanchita, ran a session for young people on the programme where she explained how the Human Rights Act works and how the rights in it apply universally to people of all ages. Participants described the session as an opportunity for “learning together – no wrong answers or tests” and said “thank you for today's session, Sanchita. I learned a lot and you explained it all very well and so that people can understand it.”

News from Elsewhere

Care home staff were allowed to appeal their human rights case

Mrs Motiejuniene, Miss Masiero, Ms Dimitrova, Ms Chadwick and Ms Hussain were care home workers who were fired in 2021 after they refused to get the Covid vaccine. They brought an unfair dismissal case against the care home. While the care home was a public body and so did not have duties under the Human Rights Act, the Tribunal that heard their case was a public body so had to consider the women’s human rights. It considered whether there had been an unlawful interference with the workers’ Article 8 right to private life and their Article 9 right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. While Ms Hussain’s belief in “my body, my choice” was held to be a protected philosophical belief, the interference was considered justified and the Tribunal did not find she had been discriminated against. The Tribunal decided the care home acted reasonably to protect the Article 2 right to life of its residents. In October 2023, three of the women were given permission to appeal this decision on the basis that the Tribunal did not properly assess the interference with human rights.

Source: Personnel Today


The World Health Organisation & United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released new guidance for World Mental Health Day

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day was “mental health is a universal human right”. Marking the occasion, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released joint guidance on mental health, human rights and legislation. The guidance is designed for law- and policy-makers as a tool for following a rights-based process and principles when developing, implementing and evaluating mental health legislation.

Read the guidance

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