Skip to main content Skip to footer

Weekly Human Rights News: 28-04-23

This week’s human rights news includes our evidence submissions on Covid and the Refugee Ban Bill and a challenge to an autism assessment policy.

We talked to staff at Swansea Council about human rights in practice

Did you know Swansea is a human rights city? This means the local authority have committed to putting human rights at the heart of everything they do. They contacted BIHR to support their senior staff with embedding human rights across all their organisations and in their policy development and delivery.

On Wednesday 26th April, Senior Human Rights Officer Katrin led an online workshop covering key rights and what they could look like in practice.

We gave evidence to the Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers

The Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers is working to “review the UK's legislative framework and institutional arrangements, alongside Government decision-making during the Covid-19 pandemic.” It will publish a report on its findings in autumn 2023 to help inform planning for future public health emergencies.

On Friday 28th April, our CEO, Sanchita, gave evidence to the Commission, focusing on the way human rights were impacted by the laws created and used during Covid.

We sent evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights about the Refugee Ban Bill

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is currently carrying out legislative scrutiny into the Illegal Migration Bill (better known as the Refugee Ban Bill). This is a process where they look closely at a proposed law and make suggestions for changes. As part of this, they put out a Call for Evidence asking people to address specific questions about the Bill.

We sent evidence to the Committee highlighting our concerns about the way the Bill would impact people’s human rights.

News from Elsewhere

People seeking asylum appealed against the decision that the Rwanda policy is lawful

Monday 24th April marked the start of four days of hearings, in which the Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether the High Court was wrong to say the Rwanda policy is lawful. The High Court’s decision was being appealed on multiple grounds, including whether it applied the right test to see if people’s Article 3 right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment was at risk. The Court has not yet announced its decision.


Deliveroo riders appealed against the decision that they are not “workers”

On Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th April, the Supreme Court heard an appeal against a decision that Deliveroo riders in Camden are not classified as workers. This means they can’t join a trade union, which they say is a breach of their Article 11 right to assembly and association. The Supreme Court has not yet handed down its judgment.


A family has challenged new autism assessment criteria

Rook Irwin Sweeney, the solicitors representing a family, sent a letter before action challenging Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board’s new autism assessment criteria. The letter explains the criteria means children and young people can only be referred for an autism assessment if their education placement is breaking down; their family unit is at risk of breakdown; they’re on a care or child protection plan; they are open to mental health services with severe and enduring mental health difficulties; they are involved with youth offending services or engaged in repeated offending behaviours; or they have very low levels of communication.

The family say this means some people will never be assessed for autism and this is a breach of their Article 8 rights as it concerns an essential aspect of their right to private life – whether or not they are autistic.

They have asked that the Care Board remove the criteria and confirm they will review funding for autism assessment services and review new NHS England guidance.

Read the letter

Share this

Stay up-to-date

Get our newsletter

Get monthly updates on UK human rights law and our work, resources and events sent straight to your inbox.