Our pick of human rights news stories from the past week.

News From BIHR

Human Rights, Housing and Accommodation

The 8th October was Housing Day. Some of the rights in our Human Rights Act are really relevant to housing, for both providers and service users. We take a look at how human rights can create change in the housing sector.

BIHR Website

News from Elsewhere

Homeless families denied support

Homeless families are being denied support, told they are not really homeless and offered “ridiculous” solutions by councils who do not have the resources to help them.

Though councils have a legal duty to prevent people becoming homeless, many of them are not helping people who are in danger of homelessness, an investigation by non-profit organisation the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found.

A lack of resources means many councils are “failing to meet basic requirements”, charities have said, and there is a lot of variation between how different councils are interpreting their responsibility under the law.

The Yorkshire Post


Call for action as people arrested on Western Isle have human rights ‘diminished’ by being locked up miles away

A councillor has claimed that people arrested on the west coast are having their human rights violated by being taken to cells miles away from their homes.

People taken into custody on the Western Isles can then end up without any means of getting home after being released from custody and Calum Macmillan, from South Uist, has called for action to address the situation.

Mr Macmillan said he was concerned about the human rights of people lifted by police in places such as Barra, South Uist, North Uist and Harris – who are taken to Stornoway due to a lack of 24-hour cover at certain stations on the islands.

The Press and Journal


Counter-terror police running secret Prevent database  

Counter-terror police across the UK have been running a secret database containing details of thousands of individuals referred to the government’s controversial anti-radicalisation Prevent programme.

The National Police Prevent Case Management (PCM) database is managed centrally by national counter-terrorism policing headquarters. It is accessible to all police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Home Office are able to request data from it, according to documents sent to the human rights group Liberty and seen by the Guardian.

The Guardian


Extinction Rebellion: Metropolitan Police accused of ‘pre-emptive’ arrests, as group holds opening ceremony for two-week protest

The Metropolitan Police’s decision to seize protest equipment and arrest activists from climate campaign group Extinction Rebellion has been called “plain wrong” by MPs in the run up to the group’s fortnight of action in Westminster and across the world.

The campaign organisation, which plans to blockade roads around the parliament for the next 14 days, was targeted by officers on Saturday after it was rumoured to be storing items for use in protests.

The Independent

Government review of abortion clinic buffer zones ‘misrepresents impact of protestors on patients’

A government review into buffer zones outside abortion clinics underplayed and misrepresented the impact of activists on staff and patients, a number of medical bodies and charities have claimed in a renewed call for better protections for women in vulnerable situations.

The creation of protest-free areas outside abortion service providers was reviewed by Sajid Javid last year – with the former home secretary and current chancellor concluding the move “would not be a proportionate response”.

The Independent

Violent hate crime against disabled has risen by 41 per cent in the last year, figures suggest

Disability hate crime involving violence has risen by 41 per cent in the last year, figures suggest.

Offences with an online element have also gone up by 71 per cent, data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed.

The Independent

Watchdog finds 'emergency' conditions in Scottish prisons

Europe’s anti-torture watchdog has described conditions in Scotland’s overcrowded prisons as an emergency situation, in a damning report that highlights a rise in drug-related violence, the overuse of segregation, and inmates confined to their cells for lengthy periods of time, sometimes in less than 3m2 of living space.

The Guardian


MPs and Reprieve take Government to court over refusal to hold torture inquiry

The Government is being taken to court over its refusal to hold a fully independent, judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in rendition and torture. The legal action is being brought by human rights NGO Reprieve, David Davis MP and Dan Jarvis MP.