Our pick of human rights news stories from the past week.

News From BIHR

Behind the News: Human Rights and Maternity Care

A leaked report has exposed a "toxic culture" at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which has led to avoidable deaths, serious injuries and further trauma inflicted on grieving families. We look at why human rights MUST be central to maternity care.



Carers Rights Day 2019

This Thursday was Carers Rights Day, our Human Rights Officer Katrin takes a look at how human rights can support carers.



The Impact of Brexit on human rights in Northern Ireland

As part of our series of expert blogs commenting on how Brexit may affect human rights in a variety of sectors.  Kevin Hanratty, Director at the Human Rights Consortium examines the of Brexit on human rights in Northern Ireland.



News From Elsewhere

Facial recognition technology: Ed Bridges appeals human rights ruling

A man who launched a legal challenge after police cameras digitally analysed his face in the street is to take his case to the Court of Appeal.

Ed Bridges appealed against a ruling that South Wales Police did not breach his human rights by using automated facial recognition (AFR) technology.

BBC News


Parents win right to prayer-free alternative to religious assemblies

Two parents who challenged compulsory religious worship in school assembly have won the right for a secular alternative for their children. A Church of England multi-academy said it would allow the children to withdraw from the assembly and prayers, it was confirmed on Wednesday.​

In their submission to the high court in London, the parents argued that Christian worship at the school constituted indoctrination and was in breach of their right to freedom of belief under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European convention on human rights.

The Guardian​

Facebook and Google business models pose ‘systemic threat to human rights’

Internet giants Facebook and Google pose a systemic threat to human rights because of their “surveillance-based business models”, Amnesty International has warned in a new report.
The human rights group’s Surveillance Giants report argues that the companies “control the primary channels that people rely on to engage with the internet”, forcing people to “make a Faustian bargain, whereby they are only able to enjoy their human rights online by submitting to a system predicated on human rights abuse”.

Facebook and Google dispute the findings of the report and their responses are included in the report.​

Scottish Legal News​


Assisted dying: Terminally ill man loses High Court case

A terminally ill man challenging the law on assisted dying has lost his case in the High Court.

Phil Newby, 49, from Rutland, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2014 and cannot walk or use his hands and lower arms. He raised £42,000 for the legal challenge as he wants people to have a right to choose a "civilised ending".

BBC News


Woman's right groups urge all election candidates to pledge to tackle gender inequality

Leading women’s rights organisations have called for all political candidates in the general election to pledge to end violence against women and girls and champion equality in work and at home.

The coalition of 29 women and human rights organisations from around the country have published a manifesto for women and girls ahead of the 12 December election.

The Independent


General Election: Young people and ethnic minorities at risk of missing voter registration deadline

Young people and ethnic minorities are in danger of missing out on the chance to vote in the general election, new figures show.

A staggering one in three teenagers are not registered to vote – with just one week until the deadline to do so – compared with only 6 per cent of pensioners.

Non-registration is almost as high among 20 to 24-year-olds (at 32 per cent) and among 25 to 34-year-olds (26 per cent), the Electoral Commission warned.

The Independent


People with learning disabilities frozen out of jobs by ‘inaccessible’ application forms

Mencap research has found that the complicated format of job application forms is precluding many people with learning disabilities, who can and want to work, from finding employment.

Charity Digital News


Freed prisoners killing themselves at a rate of one every two days

The number of people who took their own life while on supervision after leaving prison has increased sixfold since 2010 to a rate of one every two days, fresh analysis seen by the Guardian shows.

There were 153 self-inflicted deaths among those on post-custody supervision in 2018-19, compared with 24 in 2010-11, Ministry of Justice data analysed by the charity Inquest reveals, although this is partly down to improved recording.

The Guardian


Stop and search: 9,000 under-18s in Wales checked

Children as young as seven are among thousands of under-18s stopped and searched by police in Wales. In the four years up to March 2019, more than 9,000 children and young people were searched by officers. Fewer than a tenth of those were arrested.

BBC News


War crimes court considers investigation into British military

The international criminal court may investigate the British military for the first time after allegations that war crimes had been committed, the BBC has reported.

The broadcaster’s Panorama programme has claimed killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq have been covered up by the state. The Ministry of Defence said the allegations were unsubstantiated.

The Guardian