News From BIHR

One Day BIHR Human Rights Courses

BIHR is one of the most respected providers of human rights consultancy and training in the UK, and we have extensive experience of delivering bespoke training courses for community sector organisations and advocacy groups, for service providers, commissioners and public authorities.

Early next year we will be offering two Human Rights Open Courses:

  • A Human Rights Based Approach to Social Justice which is for Advocates, Self-Advocates and Community Sector Organisations
  • A Human Rights Based Approach to Person Centred Care which is for Health and Social care providers and planners 

Find our more and book your place here

A new generation of Human Rights Researchers!

This week we attended the Human Rights Research Project presentation evening which is the culmination of our annual Young Human Rights Researcher Project. The project brings together year 9 students from Surbiton High School and Tiffin School for boys. We were pleased to see all the young people speak with such interest, confidence and clarity on their chosen topics. 

Read more and find out who our prize winners where here. 

Why do Human Rights Matter in the Care and Support Sector?

A look at why human rights are important in the care and support sector and why organisations work better when they use a human rights based approach.

BIHR Website

News From Elsewhere

EU nationals who cannot prove ‘settled status’ being wrongly denied basic rights, report finds

Thousands of EU nationals are already being denied employment, housing and other basic rights if they cannot prove their “settled status”, according to a report that has prompted fears Brexit will expose millions more people to the government’s “hostile environment”.

Research by campaign group the3million suggests more than one in 10 EU citizens and their relatives have been wrongly told to provide proof of settlement despite the fact that it is not required until after Britain leaves the EU and people have until June 2021 to apply to the scheme.

The Independent


Extinction Rebellion listed as 'key threat' by counter-terror police

A police force in London labelled Extinction Rebellion one of its “key threats” in a counter-terrorism assessment and provided awareness training on the climate crisis group across the capital, resulting in “intelligence” tip-offs.

City of London police grouped the environmental protest movement alongside “far-right organisations” in an assessment of its counter-terrorism operations seen by the Guardian.

The Guardian

Children in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, says report

Children are being held in “harmful” solitary confinement in prison with some let out of their cells for just 15 minutes a day, a damning report from jail inspectors said.

Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, has called for a “major overhaul” of the policy of separating children in young offender institutions (HMYOIs). He said this in effect amounted to them being held in “harmful solitary confinement with little human contact and in conditions which risk damaging their mental health”.

The Guardian


Terrorism laws to get tougher within weeks, government vows

Terror offenders will face more time in jail and be monitored more closely as part of new laws being introduced within weeks, the government has said.

Automatic early release from prison will be scrapped for terror offenders while a minimum jail term of 14 years for serious crimes will be introduced.

The Home Office said a bill would be brought before Parliament by mid-March.

BBC News

Whorlton Hall: Care regulator ‘was wrong’ to bury whistleblower’s report into failings at hospital where patients were abused

The care watchdog missed multiple opportunities to identify abuse of patients at a privately run hospital and did not act on the concerns of its own members, an independent review has found.

Bosses at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have been criticised in an independent report by David Noble into why the regulator buried a critical report into Whorlton Hall hospital, in County Durham, in 2015.

His report published today said the CQC was wrong not to make public concerns from one of its inspection teams in 2015.

“The decision not to publish was wrong,” his report said, adding: “This was a missed opportunity to record a poorly performing independent mental health institution which CQC as the regulator, with the information available to it, should have identified at that time.”

The Independent

The report can be read here.


Dorset residents left in limbo a 'breach of human rights'

Almost a thousand vulnerable Dorset residents have been left in limbo for over a year while carers applied to strip them of their freedom.

The mental health charity Mind says the lack of legal safeguards for people subject to deprivation of liberty applications constitutes a “disgraceful breach of human rights”.

There is currently a legal maximum time limit of 21 days for applications to be processed – but experts say insufficient funding combined with huge demand has left councils across England struggling to cope.

Dorset County Council had 1,940 applications outstanding at the end of March 2019, the latest NHS Digital figures show, of which 955 (49%) had been sitting in limbo for over a year.

A further 330 cases (17%) had been stuck in the system for more than six months.

Dorset Echo


Domestic abuse cases abandoned too quickly when victims retreat – study

Police and prosecutors are dropping domestic abuse cases far too readily when victims become reluctant to pursue complaints against often violent partners, an official inspectorate report has warned.

Lack of police resources is the excuse commonly given for discontinuing investigations, even where there may be sufficient alternative evidence from cameras, witnesses or other sources, the review found.

The Guardian


High number of prison deaths are preventable, says damning new report

The persistently high death toll in prisons is a “national scandal”, with too many deaths avoidable, according to a new report published on Wednesday.

In the year to September 2019, someone killed themselves in jail in England and Wales every four days, Ministry of Justice figures reveal. Self-harm rates are also spiralling up by around a quarter from 2018 figures.

But analysis of 61 coroners’ reports and prevention of future death notices, by Inquest, the charity that supports families of people who have died in the custody or care of the state, finds that significant numbers of fatalities could have been averted and that coroners’ advice on how to avoid further deaths is frequently ignored. The report also concludes that even when deaths were due to “natural causes”, often they were a reflection of serious lapses in prison healthcare.

The Guardian


Brexit: MPs vote against protecting rights of child refugees

Conservative MPs have voted down a House of Lords amendment to Boris Johnson’s Brexit legislation, which would have guaranteed family reunion rights for unaccompanied child refugees after EU withdrawal.

Despite appeals from children’s charities, MPs rejected the safeguards in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill by a margin of 342 votes to 254 – a majority of 88. All of those voting against the measure were Tories.

The Independent  

Family judges could get training after row over comments on rape

Family court judges could get training on the “appropriate” way to deal with sex assault allegations after a woman complained about a judge’s “outdated views” on the definition of rape.

The woman has won an appeal after arguing Robin Tolson’s approach led to her losing a fight with a former partner centred on their son.

She said the judge had concluded that because she had “taken no physical steps” to stop the man, “this did not constitute rape”.

The Guardian


'How much longer do we have to wait?’ Ministers condemned over delays in reforms to transgender rights

Government delays in publishing a long-awaited consultation into reforming transgender rights have allowed “hate to fester”, according to the shadow women and equalities minister.

Speaking in the Commons, Victoria Atkins, the women and equalities minister, was unable to confirm when the government would publish the results of the consultation on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

She said Boris Johnson’s administration was looking “carefully and methodically” at the findings of the survey adding: “We are clear that we want to protect trans adults’ rights and protect single-sex spaces for women. We do want to rush this; we want to get it right.”

The Independent


Domestic violence: Minister to decide route for abuse legislation

Stormont's justice minister has said she will decide shortly if some laws to combat domestic abuse in NI should be taken through Westminster.

Coercive control could become a criminal offence before the summer, as part of a House of Commons bill.

But Women's Aid said they want it included in more detailed domestic abuse legislation to be taken through Stormont instead.

BBC News