3 November 2021

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


News from BIHR

1. Our Human Rights Act Matters:

The future of the Human Rights Act made the headlines over the past few weeks.  Right now, it is more important than ever to make clear to those in power that we believe our Human Rights Act Matters. We know there are hundreds of stories and reasons out there as to why people, groups and organisations know that 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 share a photo of your reasons for #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters and share it on social media (remember to tag us or use #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters). 


Click here to find out more about our campaign and other events.


2.Our Why Our Human Rights Act Matters blog series

We are gathering blogs from all across the UK on why our Human Rights Matters to people groups and organisations.

This week we shared blogs from:

  • Dr Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care on why the Human Rights Act matters to him and to us all. You can read it here. 
  • Sandra Coulter, CEO of Silverline Memories on why our Human Rights Act matters to people with dementia. You can read it here. 

You can read all of our blogs in this series here. 

If you would like to write a blog on why our Human Rights Act Matters email Eilidh at [email protected]


3. Why the Human Rights Act Matters: An introduction to campaigning workshop



Take part in our free online workshop where you can find out about

  • What the Human Rights Act is – and why we need to protect it
  • More about the #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters campaign
  • Top tips for taking action- including how influence your MP
  • Getting involved in the "Why our Human Rights Act Matters" campaign.


Wednesday 10 November 6pm-7.30pm

 Sign up here


3. Advocacy Awareness Week

The week was Advocacy Awareness Week and the perfect time for us to think about why our Human Rights Act matters to advocacy.

To celebrate Advocacy Awareness week we used our Why Human Rights Act Matters Campaign blog series to highlight the close relationship between advocacy and human rights. Helen Moulinos, the Chief Executive of POhWER (a national advocacy charity), wrote about why she believes the Human Rights Act goes hand in hand with advocacy. You can read her blog here.

We also held a free lunch and learn: Why Our Human Rights Act Matters to Advocacy. The workshop was attended by more than 50 advocates. Here is why some of them think the Human Rights Act is an important tool for advocacy:



4. Our Work with Communities: The impact of our 10 free human rights workshops

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen new human rights issues arise, as well as an exacerbation of existing human rights issues. With the final part of our pandemic funding, we  decided to offer a final 10 human rights workshops to new partner organisations.

The data gathered across all 10 groups we worked with shows that the knowledge and confidence  of attendees in using human rights increased significantly. You can read the full impact report here.

We are committed to continuing to support people and their communities tO know about their human rights and have the confidence to talk about and advocate for their rights in everyday situations where they interact with public bodies.

You can read more about our new pilot programme with community groups here, which we are seeking funding for to develop into a full programme in 2022.


 5. Our work with public services

As part of BIHR’s Human Rights in Children’s Inpatient Mental Health Services project, funded by NHSE England, we are offering 5 open access free human rights workshops.

These workshops are for children, young people, parents, loved ones, self/advocates and lived experience groups. 

You can find our more and register for the workshops here

The first of these workshops took place on Tuesday 2 November and was delivered together with one of our Lived Experience Experts, Hanna.


6.Human Rights Day

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.


Information from elsewhere

Our friends at Article 39 are looking to hear from children and young people under the age of 18 to be involved in a Youth Expert Group on Mental Health. 

The group is made up of exceptional young people who have experience of being detained in a mental health unit and so far some of the young people have shared their views with government on issues such as restraint and segregation. Soon, the group will be starting work to design a new training course for independent mental health advocates.

if you're interested, get in touch with [email protected]


Human Rights News 

Covid Vaccines to be compulsory for NHS staff in England from April

It has been announced this week that the Government will make Covid vaccination compulsory for England's NHS’s 1.4 million full time staff.

The new approach will be implemented in April next year due to concerns that it could lead to a loss of many staff over the winter which is the NHS’s busiest time of year.

The Health Secretary has already made vaccination mandatory for care home staff in England. From Thursday 11 November, anyone working in a care home will have to prove they have been double-jabbed or face being dismissed.

Source: Guardian. Read more here

LGBT+ veterans stripped of their medals will have them returned for Remembrance Sunday

The Military of Defence has written to veterans who were stripped of their medals to offer them back. They can also opt to have a presentation ceremony with a senior officer and their families present if they wish.

Source: Daily Mirror. Read more here

Police apologise to journalist unlawfully arrested outside Napier Barracks

Kent police has apologised to photographer Andy Aitchison who was arrested and detained for more than 5 hours after taking photographs of activists protesting outside an asylum camp earlier this year.

The Chief Constable stated in a letter that Mr Aitchinson has been unlawfully arrested and falsely imprisoned in breach of his human rights.

In the letter the Chief Constable said:

“I recognise the fundamental importance of free speech and the independent of journalists; I accept they should not be at risk of arrest and of having their equipment seized when acting lawfully in reporting matters of public interest.

Source: Independent. You can read more here