News From BIHR

Children's Mental Health Week 

This week (3-9 February 2020) is Children’s Mental Health Week.We take a look at why human rights matter in this area.


Human rights open training courses
We still have a few spaces left on our human rights open training courses.
At BIHR we aim for the light bulb moments- when people make the connection between human rights and the work they do every day. We move human rights from the law books to everyday life, using real examples and a practical human rights based approach.

Available Dates:
Wednesday 26 February- Human Rights Based Approach to Social Justice (ONLY A FEW SPAPCES LEFT)
Wednesday 4 March - Human Rights Based Approach to Person Centred Care 
Tuesday 10 March - Human Rights Based Approach to Social Justice

News From Elsewhere 

Concerns over calls for increased police powers against protests

Public opinion has been shown to support increased police powers against political protests, according to polling data.

The figures, published by Deltapoll, highlights that 60 per cent of UK adults are in favour of further police powers to prevent and limit protests, due largely to the perceived disruptive effects.

Within the figures, over half of adults surveyed supported the increased provision of police powers, including the use of water cannons, tasers and riot policing.

The poll comes amid widespread campaigning to increase police powers against protesters, as well as public criticism of activist groups such as climate activists Extinction Rebellion. 

The London Economic


Woman with anorexia 'denied help' before death

A woman with severe anorexia died two days after she was denied hospital treatment, an inquest heard.

Madeline Wallace, 18, was given an urgent referral by an out-of-hours GP but it was rejected because "there were not enough beds".

BBC News

Sentencing: minister rejects European human rights convention warning

A senior government minister has raised further questions over Britain’s relationship with the European convention on human rights (ECHR) as Boris Johnson scrambles to push through tougher sentencing for terrorists.

Legal experts have suggested the government’s intended plan to extend the time terrorists serve in prison could be in breach of the ECHR, to which Britain has been signed up for decades.

The Guardian


Home Office told to act as detainees unable to contact lawyers

The Home Office has been accused of holding immigration detainees effectively incommunicado, with a lack of mobile signal preventing them from contacting lawyers or family, days before a mass deportation flight to Jamaica.

Hundreds of detainees at the Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres, close to Heathrow airport, have suffered severe signal disruption on the phones issued to them since early January.

The Guardian


Mental health: 'Urgent action needed over epidemic'

The new executive must act urgently if it is to "divert the current mental health epidemic among young people", NI's children's commissioner has said.

BBC News

Most women who flee domestic violence have nowhere to go

Survivors face returning to their abuser or sleeping rough as they can’t prove they are vulnerable to council housing officers.

The Guardian


EU nationals who have suffered domestic abuse in UK ‘face being pushed onto streets after Brexit’

European nationals who have suffered domestic abuse face being pushed onto the streets as Brexit is carried out, frontline service providers have warned.

Women face substantial barriers to applying for the EU settlement scheme due to necessary documentation having been “destroyed” by abusive partners.

EU nationals who are not accepted to the EU settlement scheme, which endeavours to establish the immigration status of citizens from the bloc legally residing in the UK post-Brexit, will be at risk of deportation as Britain withdraws from Europe.

The Independent

'Cruel and perverse': Human rights group Liberty slams council's begging ban in Luton town centre

Human rights group Liberty has slammed Luton Borough Council's begging ban in the town centre, labelling it a "harmful and disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable people in Luton".

The council is undergoing a public consultation to toughen up the existing Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) as well as extend it to the area around the Galaxy Centre.

Solicitors from Liberty wrote to the council on January 30, slamming the proposed variations on the PSPO - which would allow beggars to be fined.

Luton Today 


Government loses Universal Credit appeals against claimants with severe disabilities

The Court of Appeal on 29 January dismissed the government’s appeals against two previous court judgments which found that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions had unlawfully discriminated against thousands of severely disabled people who moved onto Universal Credit.
The ruling upholds two successful High Court challenges brought by TP and AR, in which the courts found that individuals previously in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium (“SDP”) and Enhanced Disability Premium (“EDP”) are to be protected against a drop in their income when they move onto Universal Credit.

Leigh Day


Human rights concerns over prisons and police

Overcrowding in prisons and Police Scotland's use of new technology are among 200 concerns being raised by the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

It has compiled a report for the United Nations into Scotland's implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The commission said some progress had been made since its report in 2015.

But chairwoman Judith Robertson said there were "serious gaps" in how some of rights are upheld in Scotland.

Among the concerns highlighted were:

  • overcrowding in prisons and the impact of this on conditions for inmates
  • the use of 1m-squared holding cubicles ('dog-boxes') in HMP Barlinnie
  • suicide and self-harm rates among female prisoners and children in secure care
  • insufficient legal frameworks and oversight for Police Scotland's use of new biometric technologies such as facial recognition and "cyber kiosks"
  • disproportionate police use of strip searches on women and children
  • the need to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14 in line with international recommendations.

BBC News