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Weekly Human Rights News: 14-10-22

We joined Difference NE to talk human rights and disability

On Tuesday 11th October 2022, our CEO, Sanchita, spoke at Difference NE’s event, “Human Rights and Disability- 'Whose Rights Are They Anyway?'”.

The event looked at how we can use our Human Rights Act to make social change for disabled people and how to use rights-based approaches to make work as impactful as possible. Sanchita was joined by fellow speaker Helen Flynn, Head of Policy, Research and Campaigns at Just Fair.

We talked to staff in Sheffield about human rights in health and social care

On Wednesday 12th October 2022, we met with senior health and social care staff in Sheffield as part of our Practice Leads workshops. They're undertaking 30 hours of intensive learning support, aiming to raise awareness of human rights, support and sustain current and future learning and development, problem-solve and share good practice, and create proactive human rights champions.

We spoke to directors at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

On Thursday, 13th October 2022, our Head of Policy and Programmes, Carlyn, spoke to the Board of Directors at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust ahead of a large programme of human rights work commencing in November. BIHR will be working with the Partnership to empower people accessing services to know and claim their rights and increase the accountability of those delivering services to meet their legal duties under our Human Rights Act. If you're interested in a similar programme of work please get in touch with us on

News from elsewhere

Automatically conferring British citizenship was found not to be a breach of human rights

Caoimhe Ni Chuinnegain is a 19-year-old from Belfast who describes herself as “fully immersed in all aspects of Irish national culture”. She has both British and Irish citizenship. This is because under the British Nationality Act 1981, every person automatically becomes a British citizen on birth if they are born in UK territory and their parent is also a British citizen or settled in UK territory.

Caoimhe said that having British citizenship automatically conferred on her breaches her Article 8 right to private life. Although she could renounce (meaning formally abandon) her British citizenship, this costs money and Caoimhe believes doing so would mean accepting that she was born a British citizenship in the first place.

On 7th October 2022, the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland rejected her argument, saying Article 8 does not protect her right for status as an Irish citizen only and there is nothing in the law that stops her from identifying herself as Irish only despite her citizenship. They also said the money and process required to renounce British citizenship does not breach her Article 8 rights.

Read the full judgment.


Joe Powell celebrated 10 years as National Director for All Wales People First

All Wales People First is an organisation for, and led by, men and women with a learning disability. BIHR trustee Joe Powell is the organisation’s National Director and, on Monday 10th October 2022, celebrated 10 years in his role.

Writing about his experience, Joe said “This is very significant. Not because of who got the job but because no one said the National Council could make this appointment work. People didn’t think it would be possible for a person with a learning disability or lived experience to succeed as a manager. But we now know that the National Council were right to go ahead with appointing a person with lived experience as the National Director. The National Council made it work.

Read Joe’s blog.

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