1. Our Human Rights Workshops

This week we delivered a variety of human rights workshops with people, communities and public bodies!

Thursday 25th November was Carers' Rights Day, and we spent an evening with the Parent and Carer Alliance talking about how the Human Rights Act can be an incredibly powerful tool in advocacy to challenge decisions made by public authorities.

Through the week we also supported staff working in forensic mental health services in the North East of England, in adult social care teams in Yorkshire, and in inpatient mental health services for children and young people. We asked the last group what human rights action they will take after attended BIHR's human rights learning programme, and here are a couple of their change commitments...

Click here to find out more about our online human rights workshops.

2. Updated Covid-19 Vaccine & Human Rights Guides

As governments across the UK continue to make decisions about vaccines, lots of public bodies, staff & individuals have been in touch with us with questions about what these decisions mean for their human rights and the rights of their loved ones or people they support.

This week we have been working hard to update our vaccines hub. The hub will support you to know about human rights when thinking about the Covid-19 vaccine. Take a look and share our:

Click here to find all our guides on vaccines, or click the button below.

3. Learn About Your Human Rights!

At BIHR we being that knowledge is power, which is why we aim to make learning about the Human Rights Act as easy as possible. We have put together a range of resources that tell you all that you need to know about the 16 Articles in the Human Rights Act.

If you are someone who is accessing public services and you want to use the language of human rights to gain confidence to stand up for your rights, or a staff member working for a public service that is unsure of what their legal duties under the Act look like – these short guides are for you.

Each guide explains:

  • How the right works and how it is protected
  • What legal duties do public authorities have to uphold your right
  • If the right can ever be restricted, and if so how
  • Practical real-life examples of the rights being used

Each guide is available in two formats: plain language, and easy read (with photosymbols) to make sure that everyone can learn about and use the Human Rights Act.

Click here to get our guides to all 16 Articles in the Human Rights Act.

4. Why Our Human Rights Act Matters

We’re now just a couple of weeks away from Human Rights Day (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 share a photo of your reasons for #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters and share it on social media (remember to tag us or use #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters).

This week, two social workers, Daisy Jackson-Bogg and Jane Foggin, shared their reasons #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters to them, and in social work more generally. We've shared some important quotes from their guest blog below. Click here to read Daisy & Jane's blog, and click here to find out more about this campaign.

News from elsewhere

1. 27 people have died in the English Channel after their boat sank

27 people who were crossing the English Channel have tragically drowned when their boat sank. Seven women and three children were among those who died. The UN Refugee Agency says these deaths were avoidable and calls for a coordinated response to support migrants.

Source: BBC News

2. 100 with learning disabilities and autism in England held for more than 20 years in ‘institutions’

A judge has allowed BBC News to report on a legal case being heard in the Court of Protection, which makes decisions on financial and welfare matters for people who lack capacity to make those decisions themselves. The person at the centre of this case is Tony Hickmott, an autistic 44-year-old man with a learning disability, who has been detained in an Assessment and Treatment Unit since 2001, and has been considered “fit for discharge” since 2013. Mr Hickmott is one of 100 people with learning disabilities and autism in Engaldn who have been held in hospitals for at least 20 years.

Source: BBC News

3. Supreme Court hands down judgment on mental capacity and sexual relations

The Supreme Court has confirmed that for a person to have capacity to engage in sexual relations, they must be able to understand that the other person has the ability to consent to this, and that they must consent before and throughout sexual activity.

This ruling was made in relation to a legal case about a 36-year-old autistic man with impaired cognition known as JB. JB is said to be at “moderate risk” of sexual offending to women and is said not to understand that consent when it comes to engaging in sexual relations.

The judgment is available for download in full and in plain language version here.

Want to know more about mental capacity and sexual relations? Click here to read our explainer on this subject. We will be writing a blog about the human rights implications of this judgment, so stay tuned.