The Importance of Human Rights

This is a worrying time for many people and there is a need for governments to respond, including ours here in the UK. At times like these, when so many of us can find ourselves in an unfamiliar (or familiar) position of vulnerability, it is vital that we can be assured safety includes the protection of our dignity and not losing the rules of fairness and respect in the way power is used to respond to this situation. Recognising the need to protect everyone’s human dignity was, after all, born out of World War 2, one of the worst crises in modern history.

Human rights are our roadmap for peace times and times of crisis; our government must ensure that its response has these rights front and centre in decision-making and does not make the situation worse. Our Director, Sanchita, has written a blog on the Coronavirus Bill and human rights which you can read here.

A Change of Focus 

The world seems a very different place that it did only a few weeks ago. At BIHR we usually spend our days doing human rights trainings throughout the UK. We are currently following government recommendations and all our physical training sessions have been put on hold. 

But we have still been hard at work, we are monitoring the human rights issues raised by the government's response to Covid-19 and what these mean for people in their everyday lives. 

Briefing the Members of House of Commons and House of Lords

The Government's Coronavirus Bill includes a number of new powers for the Government (the UK government and the governments of the devolved nations). An area of particular concern for BIHR is that of mental health and care; and the Bill contains measures that impact this area. 

Over the past two days the Coronavirus Bill has went through its first and second readings in the House of Commons and is now in front of the House of Lords. We have written to members of both Houses informing them of some of the key human rights implications of the Bill and suggested actions. You can read the briefing here.

What The Coronavirus Bill Could Mean For Mental Health

Our Human Rights Officer Katrin has written for Each Other on what the Coronavirus Bill could mean for mental health. Read Katrin's blog here

We will continue to closely monitor the situation. You can find all our Coronavirus related information here, which this page will be updated as things develop.