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Weekly Human Rights News: 15-03-24

This week’s human rights news includes BIHR giving evidence at the UN, partners selected for our human rights awareness raising workshops and the first ever case looking at the lawfulness of Home Office’s GPS tagging.

We gave evidence to the UN Human Rights Committee

The Committee met in Geneva on 11 to 13th March and heard evidence from the UK Government, National Human Rights Institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations.

BIHR was kindly funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission who offered funding to organisations who could share lived experience evidence at the session. RITES Committee members Kirsten and Fairuz spoke directly to the Committee to share their experiences of human rights in the UK. Kirsten spoke about the rights issues faced by autistic children and their families in inpatient mental health care. Fairuz spoke of the rights issues faced by women and girls from black and minoritised communities, particularly in accessing public services in the UK.


I feel that I was listened to, I was respected and more importantly that I was heard - Kirsten Peebles

We launched new human rights programme with TEWV NHS Trust

This week we launched the first part of our human rights learning programme with Tees, Esk and Ware Valley NHS Trust. We will be working with them on this project until February 2025, and in that time we'll train over 300 staff members on the human rights act and how to use it. This week's workshop was specifically for inpatient staff, but we will be working across the trust and all their different teams. When asked what they'd do differently after attending just one workshop, a participant said:


 I will consider human rights in all decisions. Even decisions which the team have been making for long periods of time i.e. restriction of items. It might still be appropriate, but it's made me think to consider this in more detail.

We selected partners for our free Human Rights Awareness-Raising Workshops

Over the past couple of months, BIHR has been accepting applications from small community groups across the UK to receive a free human rights workshop to support and empower their communities. We were flooded with applications from a wide variety of organisations supporting people who access, or are trying to access, public services, and were so pleased to hear about the positive work taking place to help people to know and claim their rights already.

We are delighted to share the organisations that we will be working with to deliver these workshops over the coming weeks:

News from Elsewhere

Court considers the lawfulness of the Home Office's policy of GPS tagging people migrating to the UK

Mark came to the UK in 2000 and has indefinite leave to remain. In 2017, he was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment and he has since been served removal directions. He was granted immigration bail subject to electronic monitoring and was fitted with a GPS tag in May 2022. He had it for 18 months but it wasn't sending any signal for around six months. The Home Office’s own policy on GPS tagging sets out that the necessity of GPS tagging should be reviewed at least every three months.  Throughout Mark’s case, however, the Home Office failed to conduct lawful or timely reviews meaning there was no check on the proportionality of continuing to impose the tag until July 2023.

The lack of reviews and the use of the tag during the time it wasn't sending signals was found to be a disproportionate breach of Mark's right to private life protected by Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. However, the court found that wearing the tag at the time of the hearing was proportionate and Mark continues to be tagged (but is planning to apply for permission to appeal this point).

It's the first case to consider the lawfulness of the Home Office's policy of GPS tagging people migrating to the UK.

You can read the judgement here. 

Source: Wilsons Law LLP

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