29 April 2021

News from BIHR

Our open human rights Lunch & Learns

Yesterday, we held our open Lunch and Learns! We look at the right to private and family life, which is protected by Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Our Lunch and Learns are informal chats with a member of BIHR staff on a different human rights topic each month. Usually, access is exclusive to our Communities of Practice members.

But for April’s Lunch and Learns, we made them open access so everyone can join! We had a great turn out at our 3 sessions for people, advocates and staff. Some interesting topics we raised, including:

  • Can Art 8 be used when a family member is moved to another mental health unit & the LA is supporting family to visit?
  • Can Art 8 be used to challenge decisions not to provide benefits or care and support people need to live their lives?
  • How do human rights & Art 8 interact with best interest decisions?
  • What can I do when I raise a human rights issue and it isn't listened to?
  • Is Art 8 relevant when thinking about making decisions around care & treatment in hospital?

Want to join us next month? Sign up to our Communities of Practice (for free!) to have access: https://www.bihr.org.uk/bihrs-communites-of-practice


Reforming the Mental Health Act: our response

Last week, we responded to the Mental Health Act consultation.

The Reforming the Mental Health Act consultation was opened by the government in January 2021 to ask people about their views on the government’s proposals for changing the Mental Health Act. Find out more about the Mental Health Act consultation process and the government’s suggestions for reform in our plan language Explainer, available here.

Our submission amplifies the voices of people accessing, or trying to access, mental health services and their loved ones, and staff working in those services. We called for an approach to reforming the Mental Health Act which recentres human rights, both in policy and practice.

Read our response here.

New easy read guide to the right to accessible information

Last week, we launched a brand new easy read resource on the right to accessible information! Your right to accessible information means that you should be able to get information in a way that is best for you and you can easily understand.

Our new guide, made with the accessible information campaign group, will help you to understand what the right to accessible information is and how you can ask public services to communicate with you in a way you understand.

Find out more and read the guide here.

News from Elsewhere...

  1. Laura Booth: Neglect contributed to disabled woman's death

    “Neglect contributed to a disabled woman's death from malnutrition following a routine operation, a coroner has said.”

    BBC News (England), 26 April 2021

  2. Vaccine passports could further marginalise vulnerable people, warns human rights watchdog

    “Plans for vaccine passports to access services and public spaces could further marginalise the most vulnerable parts of society, the Scottish Human Rights Commission has warned.”

    Holyrood, 28 April 2021

    Also see: Scottish Human Rights Commission News

  3. Home Office sued by asylum seeker over baby’s death

    “A woman whose baby died is suing the Home Office for negligence over claims that staff at her asylum accommodation refused to call an ambulance when she was pregnant and bleeding.”

    The Guardian, 23 April 2021

  4. Autistic teens face 'barbaric' treatment, parents tell MPs

    “The mother of a teenager with autism has told MPs that her daughter's treatment in the care of the NHS was "barbaric and inhumane".”

    BBC News, 27 April 2021

  5. Joint Committee on Human Rights: Every Fixed Penalty Notice issued under coronavirus Regulations must be reviewed

    “A cross-party committee of MPs and Peers says fixed penalty notices (FPNs) - which can be as much as £10,000 - are muddled, discriminatory and unfair.”

    Joint Committee on Human Rights press release, 27 April 2021

  6. Manchester Arena Inquiry: Police chief admits bomb response failings

    “A senior police chief has admitted his force failed to work effectively with other emergency services in the Manchester Arena attack's aftermath.”

    BBC News, 27 April 2021

  7. Home Office unlawfully refused Windrush citizens status over minor criminal records, High Court rules

    “Windrush victims have been unlawfully denied British citizenship on the grounds of minor criminal records, the High Court has ruled.”

    The Independent, 24 April 2021

Thanks for reading!

There has been a lot of sad human rights news this week, and we know it can be overwhelming. Why not take a moment to read our blog, Value of Human Rights in Health and Social Care: from Covid-19 and beyond, to remind yourself and reflect on the value that human rights have in helping us achieve dignified and independent lives.