Weekly Human Rights News: 21-07-23
This week’s human rights news includes the Refugee Ban Bill passing into law.
We hosted a thinking space for NHS staff to discuss real-life scenarios with colleagues
As part of our human rights programme for NHS staff working in mental health settings, we facilitated a group thinking space where staff could support one another to apply human rights to clinical scenarios they’ve encountered in practice. Unlike our workshops which are led by Human Rights Officers and Lived Experience Experts, these spaces are driven by NHS staff, giving them the opportunity to think through and discuss human rights issues as a group. This protected space for public officials to reflect and action plan using a human rights lens, supported by BIHR staff, is crucial to ensuring the change we want to see within public services for the people accessing them and the staff delivering them. If you’d like to work with BIHR to run these sessions for your colleagues or team, get in touch.
We had internal team training on special educational needs and disabilities
At BIHR, our team has a diverse range of experience and expertise, from advocacy to health and social care to asylum and immigration. To ensure we create space to grow and develop, we run Internal Knowledge Sharing workshops where we can learn from one another. This week, we heard from Human Rights Officer Phoebe, who previously worked as an advisor and tribunals officer at several SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Services) across the country. Phoebe supported the team to understand the practicalities of the Children and Families Act and its interactions with human rights law. The team left more aware of the human rights challenges faced by children and their families navigating the SEND system in England. BIHR are now brainstorming our next steps for future human rights work in this area to create rights-respecting outcomes for families before cases get to court. If you work in SEND services and would like to work with us, get in touch on email@example.com.
News from Elsewhere
The Illegal Migration Act received royal assent
On Thursday 20th June, the Illegal Migration Act received royal assent. This means it has been approved by the King and is now law. However, the final version of the Act has not yet been published. Although some sections of the Act take effect straight away, others won’t take effect until the Home Secretary makes regulations to do so. The Law Society has also pointed out:
“whilst the Act [has now] come into force on paper, it will be unworkable in practice because it doesn’t provide solutions to the asylum backlog, and there isn’t capacity in the legal aid sector to provide the immigration advice needed. The Rwanda removal agreement has been ruled unlawful and is subject to an appeal in the Supreme Court. Even if that appeal proves successful, there are no other removal agreements in place. Rwanda alone would not be able to accept anywhere near the number of people who will be scheduled for ‘removal’.”
The Metropolitan Police settled a claim with the family of a man murdered in the 80s
Daniel Morgan was murdered in March 1987 “in circumstances that have given rise to speculation that he may have been killed because he was about to reveal police corruption.” In 2021, Daniel’s family brought a claim against the Metropolitan Police Service for failing to meet their obligations under the Human Rights Act. Article 2 of the Human Rights Act includes a duty to protect the right to life and to investigate unnatural deaths. On Wednesday 19th July, the case was settled with the police issuing a statement apologising to the family and acknowledging “their tenacious campaigning has exposed multiple and systemic failings in this organisation.”
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