14 January 2022

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

News from BIHR

Learn about the proposed Human Rights Act reform at one of our free Zoom events!

In December 2021, the Government released a consultation paper setting out its plans to “overhaul” the Human Rights Act and replace it with a UK Bill of Rights. Click here to read a plain-language explanation of what the paper said.

We’re deeply concerned about this proposal and created five-part action plan in response. Click here to read the full plan.

The first step of our plan is to help people, communities, staff at public bodies and policymakers understand what’s happening. To do this, we’re hosting free online workshops where we’ll explain what the proposed changes are, what that could mean for you and the people you support, and how you can get involved with our campaign.

Ask the Experts- January 26th, 5.30pm to 7pm

BIHR’s CEO Sanchita Hosali will be joined by other leading experts in the field of Human Rights to discuss Human Rights Act Reform. Experts will present on why it matters and what we can do to protect our rights both pre and post consultation.

The event will have a webinar format with presentations from experts and then dedicated space for questions and answers.

Click here to register

Human Rights Act Reform: What's happening, why it matters and what we can do together January 31st, 4pm to 5.30pm

Join BIHR and partners to discuss Human Rights Act Reform, why it matters and what we can do together from now until March 8th, the date the consultation closes.

Please be aware that this is a plain language workshop but will be fast-moving and use interactive tools to gather your opinions and create joint action plans.

Click here to register

Easy Read Workshop: Changes to the Human Rights Act and what we can do together February 8th, 4pm to 5.30pm

The Government wants to change our Human Rights Act. Come along to this workshop with BIHR to find out:

  • what the government are doing
  • what BIHR are planning and how you can be involved
  • share any work you're doing which BIHR or others can support

Click here to register

Click here for more information about the events

We’re hosting free human rights workshops about Children’s Inpatient Mental Health Services

We’re hosting online workshops for anyone interested in learning about the rights of children and young people accessing inpatient mental health services.

Each session will last 90 minutes and will be hosted on Zoom. They will be delivered by our Human Rights Officers along with Lived Experience Expert Consultants. As well as learning about the Human Rights Act and how it protects all our rights, you’ll have the chance to ask questions and join discussions.

We can host up to 30 people at each workshop. The next one will be held on 25 January from 10.30am to 12pm. Click here to register.

We’ll also be hosting three tailored sessions in the coming months:

  • 10 March, 5pm – 6.30pm: children, young people and their loved ones
  • 16 May, 11am – 12.30pm: advocates, support workers and professionals
  • 13 July, 5pm – 6.30pm: children, young people and their loved ones

Click here for more information and to register for one of our future workshops.

Open access workshops: Human Rights in Children

We want to hear Why Our Human Rights Act Matters to you!

In the run up to Human Rights Day 2021, we asked people to tell us Why Our Human Rights Act Matters to them. We heard from individuals, communities and charities from all over the country who have used the Human Rights Act in their everyday lives to secure support and protection and to hold those in power to account. Click here to read their stories.

With the Government planning to get rid of our Human Rights Act, these stories matter now more than ever. Join the campaign and tell us Why Our Human Rights Act Matters to you. Share your words, photos and videos on social media using the hashtags #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters and #WhyHRAMatters. You can tag us using the below handles:

You can also share your story with us by completing this form

News from elsewhere

The Prison Ombudsman has published its report following an investigation of the death of Baby B in HMP Styal

Because of Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the UK has a duty to investigate all deaths in custody and does so via the Prison Ombudsman. In June 2020, Ms B, a prisoner at HMP Styal, gave birth to a stillborn baby in the prison. She did not know she was pregnant until she went into labour. On 11 January 2022, the Prison Ombudsman released a report stating that the duty nurse failed to “fully assess” Ms B’s medical condition and that staff should have more training on what to do during an unexpected birth.

Source: Women in Prison


The House of Lords voted on amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 

On 10 January, the House of Lords continued their examination of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. One significant point was the vote to amend Part 10 of the Bill which refers to Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SRVOs). The Bill proposes that individuals who has been found to have used a knife, or to have known someone else would use a knife, to commit a crime can be given an SRVO lasting up to two years. This would enable police to detain and search them in public without needing “reasonable grounds” to do so. Campaign groups such as Liberty have raised concerns that this will disproportionately affect minority groups. The Bill originally proposed that the Home Secretary be allowed to roll SRVOs out nationwide after an initial testing period. However, the House of Lords voted to change this so the House of Commons and House of Lords now have to see the results of the tests and then vote on whether to roll them out nationwide. The Bill will continue to be examined in the House of Lords on 17 January.

Source: Liberty


After reports that it refused asylum to a man from Syria, the Home Office has confirmed that the country is not safe to return to

On 09 January, The Guardian reported that a man from Syria was refused asylum because the Home Office did not accept he “face[d] a risk of persecution or real risk of serious harm on return”. However, a recent report from Human Rights Watch recommended an immediate moratorium on all forced returns of Syrians. Many Human Rights campaign groups urged the Home Office to change their decision. On 11 January, the Home Office confirmed on Twitter that they are not currently returning people to Syria.

Source: Home Office via Twitter


The Welsh Government raised “significant concerns” about proposed Human Rights Act reform

On 12 January, the Welsh Government published a written statement on the UK Government’s proposed Human Rights Act Reform. The Welsh Government states it was “not consulted on or involved in the preparation of the consultation” and it is disappointed that the UK Government appears to “have ignored much of the evidence gathered during the Independent Human Rights Review…which affirmed the positive benefits that derive from the Human Rights Act”. It also noted the “pejorative and leading nature of the report and the consultation questions.”

Source: Welsh Government