News from BIHR

The Human Rights Act Review: find out what we’re doing & how to get involved!

On 13th January 2021, the Government’s Independent Review published its consultation questions. This Review is looking at how the Human Rights Act (HRA) is working in practice and whether any change is needed.

The questions are narrow, focussing on how the HRA works in courtrooms, and the relationship between government, parliament and the courts. This does not reflect 20 years of the HRA’s operation. We know from working with people, community organisations and public bodies that the HRA can be a powerful practical tool for advocacy, for planning, delivering and securing rights-respecting services, and to support calls to change policy and legislation which is not rights compliant.

How you are using the HRA in everyday ways really matters but may be missed in the Review. That’s why we’ve created lots of resources to support you to have your voice heard in the Review! Find all our resources here.

This week, we hosted two Human Rights Act Upskilling Sessions. We have another Upskilling session on February 19th for friends in Scotland! Hosted with Human Rights Consortium Scotland, we look at how our HRA works for people in everyday interactions with public services in Scotland and explore the HRA's impact on devolution. Sign up here!

If you want to share your experiences of the Human Rights Act with us to inform our response to the HRA Review and Inquiry, please fill in our accessible survey.


News from Elsewhere...

  1. Rachel Johnston: Care staff unaware dental patient seriously ill

    "A string of failures meant it took care home staff two days to realise a disabled woman who had all her teeth removed was seriously ill, an inquest heard."

    BBC News (England), 10 February 2021

  2. Restart essential care home visits in England, relatives demand

    "Relatives of people isolated in care homes are demanding a restart to essential visiting by 1 March declaring it “a matter of safety, common decency, and fundamental human rights”."

    The Guardian, 9 February 2021

  3. Council failed to consider woman’s human rights when entering home without legal basis, says watchdog

    "A council had “no regard for its responsibilities” to uphold a woman’s right to private life… when it entered her home without the legal basis to do so following safeguarding concerns, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found."

    Community Care, 4 February 2021

  4. Care Act boost to carers’ rights did not improve support because of council budget pressures, says study

    "The Care Act 2014’s strengthening of carers’  rights did not improve their access to support because of council budget pressures, a study has found."

    Community Care, 9 February 2021

  5. Covid: Prisoners like 'caged animals' in lockdown jails

    "Prisoners in England's jails have been locked in their cells for more than 90% of the day to keep them safe from Covid-19, the prisons watchdog says."

    BBC News, 11 February 2021

  6. Domestic abuse victims stalked as family courts share refuge addresses with ex-partners, commissioner warns

    "The family courts are putting domestic abuse victims and children at grave risk by sharing the secret addresses of shelters with the abusive ex-partner they are fleeing, and some survivors are suffering stalking as a result, London’s independent victims’ commissioner has warned."

    The Independent, 7 February 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.