15 October 2021

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

News from BIHR

Our Human Rights Act Matters

Right now, it is more important than ever to be making clear to those in power that we believe our Human Rights Act Matters. In the run up to this year’s Human Rights Day (on 10 December) we are asking people, groups, and organisations all across the country to share with us “Why our Human Rights Act matters…”.

If you would like to take part in our campaign you can print out the sign below (or make your own sign like Eilidh!) and write on it your reasons for #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters. Then take a photo of yourself holding the sign and tag @BIHRhumanrights on social media.


This week we’ve published two brilliant guest blogs from people telling us why our Human Rights Act matters. On World Mental Health Day, we heard from Charli Clement who talked about why the Human Rights Act matters to her as an ex-inpatient in mental health services for children and young people. Mhairi Snowden, Director of the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, also contributed to our blog series, sharing why the Human Rights Act matters to people in Scotland.

We also held a Lunch & Learn workshop this week looking at why our Human Rights Act matters and how it works. During the workshop, we asked people why the Human Rights Act matters. Here’s what they said:


Our next free open access Lunch & Learn workshop is on 2 November which falls in Advocacy Awareness Week, so we’ll be talking about why our Human Rights Act matters in advocacy. Click here to register.

Week of Action: Stop the Rights Raid

This week we have been holding a Week of Action alongside organisations including Amnesty International UK, Freedom from Torture, and Equally Ours.

The Week of Action needs to happen because the UK government is attempting to change the law in a number of ways which could undermine our human rights as well as our ability to challenge decisions or actions that breach our rights. Click here to find out more about the Week of Action.

It’s not too late to take action! You can still tell your MP how much you care about human rights. Email [email protected] letting them know who your MP is and they will support you to contact them and provide you with briefings on the Bills. Our Human Rights Officer, Natalie, met with her MP last week – click here to find out how it went (it went really well!).

Government Consultations and Human Rights

We want to know what people’s experiences of government consultations have been – the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ve run 4 workshops so far, with people, community groups, staff, and policy organisations.

We’re running a roundtable event on 9 November 2021 where we will share what we know so far about people’s experiences of government consultation and human rights, share what BIHR thinks is part of the solution and create a space for joint action planning. Register for the roundtable event here.

There’s still time to tell us what you think about government consultations. You can fill in our Easy Read survey, or our Plain Language survey online – the deadline is 22 October 2021.

Click here to find out more about this project.

Human rights in Children and Young People's Mental Health Services

As part of BIHR’s Human Rights in Children’s Inpatient Mental Health Services project, funded by NHS England, we are running FIVE open access free human rights workshops. These workshops are for children, young people, parents, loved ones, self/advocates and lived experience groups. 

The first of these free workshops is taking place on 2nd November, 10:30am -12pm. Register here for the workshop.

Click here to find out more about the workshops.

News from Elsewhere

1. World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2021

On Sunday, it was World Mental Health Day. The theme of this year's World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is 'Mental health in an unequal world'.

You can read our guest blog by Charli Clement on why our Human Rights Act matters to her as an ex-inpatient in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services here.

2. Report by MPs highlights failures in UK’s response to coronavirus

This week a report was published which examined the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in England. The Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, composed of MPs from all parties, highlighted the significant failures in how this public health crisis was handled, as well as drawing out some successes and making recommendations to the UK Government on lessons to be learned. You can read the report in full here.

Read our news piece on the report and what it means for human rights.

3. Lawyers say Nationality & Borders Bill will breach domestic and international law

According to leading immigration lawyers, the controversial Nationality & Borders Bill which is currently progressing through parliament will breach domestic and international law in at least 10 different ways. They concluded that “this bill represents the biggest legal assault on international refugee law ever seen in the UK”.

You can write to your MP asking them to speak out against the Nationality & Borders Bill as part of the Week of Action on Human Rights. Find out more here.

Source: The Guardian

4. NHS managers say care staff shortages are causing problems for hospitals

Care providers are facing serious problems in staff recruitment and retention, resulting in greater pressure on the NHS. According to care companies, the main factors behind this issue include burnout from the pandemic, compulsory vaccinations, and higher pay available in other sectors as the economy picked up.

Source: BBC News