News From BIHR...

Explainer: Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act has been in the news a lot recently. But what does this law actually do and what does it mean for each of us, everyday?
We explain why the Human Rights Act matters and how it protects all of us.


We Are Hiring!
Are you committed to bringing human rights to life beyond the courtrooms?
Come join our team here at BIHR.
We're hiring a part-time Research and Communications Assistant.
We are also hiring a part time Human Rights Officer

News From Elsewhere...

Mental health placements: Ayla Haines 'petrified' over move

The family of a west Wales woman in an English secure mental health unit fear she could be moved to a high-secure unit with dangerous offenders.

Ayla Haines, 27, is currently at St Andrew's Healthcare, in Northampton, which has some Welsh patients, but NHS Wales has suspended placements there.

The Welsh Government said in January the unit was "under enhanced monitoring".

BBC News

 

Young people detained under Mental Health Act triples in Lancashire

Figures uncovered by the Lancashire Telegraph have revealed the number of young people being detained under the Mental Health Act has more than tripled in Lancashire.

The numbers, released by the Home Office, show that in 2017/18 14 children and young people were detained under the Act, but that number jumped in 2018/19 to 43 – an increase of 207 per cent over 12 months.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “Police and health colleagues across the country work hard to ensure the needs of those in mental health crisis are met and that they are treated in a suitable environment.

“A police cell is never the right place for someone who is unwell but on occasion it is the only place of safety available at the time.

“There remain challenges for those in health and commissioning to ensure that bed space and also less urgent mental health provision can meet the demand.”

Lancashire Telegraph

 

Lack of gender neutral option on passport forms: no breach of human rights

When we apply for a passport, we are generally asked to state on the form whether we are a man or a woman, and this is generally reflected in our passports. However, in our modern day and age, there are now more than two genders – some people can choose to define as gender neutral, essentially meaning that they don’t like to describe themselves using the normal terms of “man” or “woman”. MX Elan-Cane is one of those individuals. They sued the Home Office because there was no “X” (as in, no gender neutral) option on the passport form as it was a breach of their Human Rights. The High Court said that yes, this engaged Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention (the right to private and family life), but the current passport policy did not breach that right. The Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court, both that this engaged Article 8, but that the rights to a private life were not breached here.

UK Human Rights Blog

 

Facial recognition technology and predictive policing algorithms out-pacing the law

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has called for the suspension of the use of automated facial recognition (AFR) and predictive algorithms in policing in England and Wales, until their impact has been independently scrutinised and laws are improved.

In evidence submitted to the UN on a range of civil and political rights issues, the EHRC has highlighted concerns about how the use of AFR is regulated, and has suggested that AFR may not comply with the UK’s obligation to respect privacy rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The report also raises questions about the technology’s accuracy and points to evidence that many AFR algorithms disproportionately misidentify Black people and women, and therefore could be discriminatory.

Politics Home


False imprisonment not synonymous with breach of right to liberty

In a pithy parting shot to the Home Secretary, Lady Hale has given the unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court on the question of whether a person subject to a home curfew under immigration powers had been falsely imprisoned at common law and whether that concept should now be aligned with the concept of deprivation of liberty in article 5 of the ECHR.  The Court decided the case against the defendant, as did every court below. The defendant had been required to pay the claimant £4,000.

UK Human Rights Blog

 

Children “deprived of human rights every day”

Children in Scotland are being deprived of their human rights on a daily basis, according to a new report.

More than 50 children’s charities and experts contributed to the report for Together, the Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights, which considers the extent to which children in Scotland are able to exercise their human rights as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). 

The report calls for urgent action to ensure that incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots law is accompanied by a real change in the way children and young people experience their rights.

Third Force News

 

Charities call for inquiry into deaths linked to benefits cuts

Some of the UK’s best known mental health charities and the Royal College of Psychiatrists have jointly called for an independent inquiry into the deaths of scores of vulnerable people who were reliant on welfare benefits.

Twenty organisations have signed a statement highlighting deep concern that shortcomings in Department for Work and Pensions policies and safeguarding processes are linked to avoidable deaths.

The Guardian



Domestic abuse survivor left suicidal after being advised to take in lodger to avoid losing benefits

A domestic abuse survivor was left suicidal after being advised to take in a lodger by the government to avoid missing out on housing benefits, her lawyers said.

The mother, who is a victim of rape, assault, harassment and stalking perpetrated by an ex-partner, was forced to cough up extra money for having a panic room due to the “bedroom tax”.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled the so-called “bedroom tax” unlawfully discriminates against victims of domestic abuse in October – ordering the government to pay her €10,000 (£8,650) in compensation.

However, the UK government has refused to change the law on this throughout the course of her six-year legal battle. Instead, the government tried to appeal the European Court of Human Rights’ decision but have just been refused permission to do so.

The Independent