20 August 2021

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

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News from BIHR

Our work with people accessing services

This summer we partnered with ten community groups and organisations to deliver free human rights workshops. These workshops aimed to build knowledge and confidence amongst people accessing (or trying to access) public services to use human rights in their lives. Now these workshops have all been delivered, we are writing a report about the impact this project has had on the people who came along Here’s what our friends at Rock Trust said about their workshop...

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.

Our work with community and advocacy groups

Following last week’s second workshop in our new co-develop a human rights “solution” pilot project, we are moving onto the “mapping” stage of this work. This involves BIHR and our 4 partner organisations thinking about what information already exists which could support their human rights advocacy work and, crucially, what extra information is needed. After we’ve done this, we will begin to co-develop and test a human rights “solution”.

Although we couldn’t work with all of the organisations that applied to this programme, we are hoping to do more of this work in the future and are already thinking about ways that we can work together with more partners in the future. There’s more information about this project on our website. Please email Eilidh Turnbull on [email protected] with any questions.

Our work with public services

This week, we have been meeting with our newly recruited Lived Experience Expert Consultants for our new CAMHS human rights programme funded by NHS England. This project focuses on building staff knowledge and capacity to positively and proactively uphold human rights when supporting children and young people with mental health issues. This is alongside support for young people, their families, carers, supporters and advocates to raise their concerns with services not simply as a matter of what is right, but what is legal, to self-advocate and find practical solutions.

Find out more here.

Our policy work

This week we have been spreading the word about our exciting new project all about government consultation. We want to hear from people and organisations that have experience engaging with consultation processes, and from those that have wanted to be involved in a consultation but haven’t felt able to.

If you would like to share your experience with government consultation processes, please come along to one of our workshops this September. After an initial survey, our workshops will provide a platform for you to engage with other stakeholders to discuss key frustrations around consultations, as well as sharing successes. Stories and data that we capture in our workshops will shape our research, matrix and final report.

We will be hosting the following workshops during September:

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

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.

One of the key things we are asking people to do during this week of action is to meet with their MPs in their local constituencies to show how much we care about human rights. We want to ask our MPs, the elected politicians who represent us, to protect our rights.

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.

In the run up to the Week of Action, BIHR will be holding a free workshop: Supporting Our Human Rights Act: What you need to know. This is taking place on Monday 6th September 6pm – 7.30pm. You can register for this workshop here.

Click here to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

Work with BIHR

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.

News from elsewhere

Children’s rights charity Article 39 granted judicial review of ‘discriminatory unregulated placements legislation

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, introduced changes to the law about children in care which are due to come into force on 9 September 2021. These changes ban the use of unregulated placements for children in care under the age of 16. Children’s rights charity Article 39 thinks this change discriminates against 16- and 17-year olds in care because it could mean they have to live in unregulated placements and they may be at greater risk of experiencing abuse.

Community Care

BIHR has produced two explainers about judicial review:

Mental health crisis ends in cells for too many, snapshot suggests

Estimated figures from a report given to government ministers in 2018 reveals that up to 4,500 people experiencing mental health crisis were unlawfully held in police custody in England and Wales in a year.

By law, people in mental health crisis who have been arrested should usually be detained, using powers under the Mental Health Act, in health-based places of safety, such as hospitals, rather than police cells.

BBC News

5-year-old Afghan refugee fell to his death from hotel window

Five-year-old Mohammed Munib Majeedi tragically fell from a hotel window in Sheffield. He arrived in the UK with his family 15 days ago having been relocated to the UK as part of the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy scheme.

The Home Office is responsible for finding accommodation for refugees however there were concerns about the safety of this particular hotel. The Refugee Council is calling for an urgent investigation into what has happened so steps can be taken to quickly learn lessons.

BBC News

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