10 September 2021

BIHR’s round-up of the week's top human rights news, from BIHR and beyond...

Please be aware that links to websites outside of BIHR's website will open in a new tab!

News from BIHR

Week of Action on Human Rights: 10-17 October 2021

From 10-17 October 2021, the British Institute of Human Rights and other human rights organisations are holding a Week of Action on Human Rights in the UK. Click here to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.One of the key things we are asking people to do during this week of action is to meet with their local MP to show how much you care about human rights. We want to ask our MPs, the elected politicians who represent us, to protect our rights.

This week, in order to help people learn about the law before meeting with their MP we hosted a webinar all about the Human Rights Act, how our rights are at risk, and how we can take action to support human rights in the UK. You can watch a video of this webinar, and find out more information about contacting your MP here.

Our policy work

This week hosted the first of our workshops for our exciting new project all about government consultation. This one was for people who have lived experience of interacting with public bodies.

We discussed:

  • survey/ consultation fatigue
  • not knowing where and how to access consultations
  • issues around accessibility
  • examples of consultations done well

Thanks so much to all those that joined.

You can still get involved in this project.

To fill in the survey and contribute towards this important project please click here. We have also produced an easy read version on the survey here.

Workshops (Links to zoom registration page)  

Wednesday 15th September – 2.30pm – 4pm: 

Communities (community groups, grass roots campaigns, advocates) 

Thursday 16th September – 3pm – 4.30pm:  

Policy (organisations that regularly work in policy) 

Wednesday 29th September – 3pm – 4.30pm: 

Staff (that work within public services/bodies incl. health and care) 

Please visit our project hub to learn more about this project and to register your place on of our workshops.

Our work with public bodies

At the start of the summer we partnered with a large NHS trust in the North of England to develop a special programme of work to train staff in GP practices on human rights and vaccine delivery. The aim of the programme was to ensure that human rights were the foundation of policy and practice in vaccine delivery. BIHR focused learning on potential issues around vaccine delivery to patients on the GP learning disability register. The programme was intended to give staff greater confidence in using a human rights framework to work through potentially difficult situations balancing reduced capacity and a patient’s right to make their own choices on vaccinations. BIHR’s activities focused on developing and delivering learning support for staff in a range of roles within GP surgeries (at a range of levels) to increase their knowledge and confidence of human rights law, and how to implement this in their practice.

Take a quick look at the impact this special programme has had:  

Visit our Impact hub to find out more about how our other projects have helped bring about change with people, communities, staff, and through policy.

Work with BIHR – 2 Exciting Opportunities

This is a great opportunity for someone at the start of their career in human rights and/or communications, although applications from more experienced candidates are also welcomed. This associateship will run for 12 months from the start date; BIHR will re-recruit each year. You can find out more in our Job Description and Personal Specification, including further information about BIHR, the main tasks and responsibilities (with examples of regular tasks) and the application criteria for the role.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on Monday 4 October 2021.

Click here to find out more about the role and how to apply.


BIHR is investing in the building a new website to create a new high quality, engaging platform that will effectively showcase BIHR's human rights support for our key stakeholders and share our charity's impact. We are looking for a freelance Project Manager to lead this work with us.

The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest for this work is 12pm on Monday 13 September 2021.

Click here to find out more about the role and how to submit an Expression of Interest.

Human Rights Day 2021  

We are busy making exciting plans to celebrate our human rights on Human Rights Day 2021, Friday 10th December.

To register your interest and keep up to date with our plans, please click here.

News from elsewhere

Voter ID bill to be debated as report warns it could breach human rights

MPs returning to parliament this week will have their first chance to debate controversial voter ID plans.

The Elections Bill, which will get its second reading in the Commons on Tuesday September 7, will make it mandatory for people to show ID at polling stations and could breach the human rights of millions of people, according to a Westminster committee.

The Big Issue

UK’s Troubles amnesty plan goes further than Pinochet’s, study says

The UK government’s plan to end all Troubles-era prosecutions in Northern Ireland would create an amnesty wider than the one Augusto Pinochet introduced to shield human rights violators in Chile, according to a study.

Downing Street’s plan would offer a level of impunity more sweeping than almost 300 other post-conflict amnesties introduced around the world, said the report, published on Tuesday.

The Guardian

Work begins on Scottish Human Rights Bill

An advisory board to support the development of new human rights legislation will meet for the first time today.

Equalities minister Christina McKelvie will chair the group that will play a key role in progressing the Human Rights Bill.

The new bill, outlined in the latest programme for government, will be introduced in this parliamentary session and will give effect in Scots law to a range of internationally recognised human rights.

Scottish Legal News

Cawston Park: Vulnerable patient deaths prompt hospitals warning

The deaths of three adults with learning disabilities at a failed hospital should prompt a review to prevent further "lethal outcomes" at similar facilities, a report said.

There were significant failures in the care of the patients at Jeesal Cawston Park, Norfolk, it found.

BBC News