Our plan to ensure rights are upheld during the Coronavirus outbreak At BIHR our mission is to support the use of human rights advocacy and approaches to achieve positive social change. We support: PEOPLE: with practical tools to use human rights law to change own lives. COMMUNITIES: by strengthening the agency of community groups to address social justice issues using human rights. SYSTEMS: by increasing the accountability of public bodies to respect and protect human rights in practice and policy. POLICY: by amplifying the voices of people whose rights are risked to influence policy that affects them. Our mission to ensure social justice through human rights does not change as a result of Covid-19, in fact it becomes even more necessary. How we operationalize our strategy, when we can no longer work face to face with people, communities, public officials and policy makers is something we are figuring out as quickly as we can. For people and communities We are working hard to analyse the new Coronavirus Act so that we can create accessible guidance on your human rights during this public health crisis. The guidance will cover what parts of your care and/or support can be restricted at this time and how this must be done lawfully and proportionately. The guidance will also cover when it is never okay for public bodies to act in a way which leaves someone subject to inhuman or degrading treatment, discrimination or puts your life at risk. We need your help: At BIHR we never create anything for people without people. We need to gather a picture of the changes and challenges faced by people in communities at this time so that our guidance is reflective of reality. Watch our website and social media for ways to be involved soon. For public bodies On page one of the new Coronavirus Act it states that everything within the new Act must be applied compatibly with the European Convention on Human Rights. Now, as a nurse, doctor, social worker, health care assistant, home carer working in these already challenging times, we don’t imagine you have time to sit down and familiarise yourself with the European Convention on Human Rights before going to work. Parliament may argue that public officials have a legal duty to do this and indeed they do, but our practical experience tells us that less than 10% of public officials have had training on Human Rights Law. Online Human Rights Training We are creating a 2 hour online, “Basic Introduction to Human Rights” course delivered by one of our expert trainers. This interactive course will provide those providing care/support/housing or any other public function at this unprecedented time with the legal framework required to make those difficult decisions lawfully and in a way that upholds human rights. After you’ve completed the, “Basic Introduction to Human Rights,” course, you will be able to sign up to a variety of more specific human rights courses to further your knowledge in the setting you work in.The new Coronavirus Act makes sweeping changes to legislation used daily in public services across the UK. If you’re a practitioner used to using the Mental Health Act/Mental Capacity Act/Care Act for example, you will now need to understand the changes to these bits of legislation. Changes to time frames, review periods and even access to services which will have a huge impact on the people you work for. We are therefore also creating a number of short online, interactive courses to support you to understand these changes without reading through the 360 page Act. We will have these courses ready soon, they will include: Human Rights and Mental Health/Capacity Human Rights in Residential Care Human Rights in the Community Human Rights and Social Intervention Human Rights and supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence. And more. These open access, live course will be available to sign up to online at a small per person fee of £30. We wish we could offer these courses for free but as a small charity, with little core funding we would collapse! We have kept the cost low so as to cover our development and delivery time only. Bespoke Courses We have also had various requests for bespoke courses, where organisations can send us through the challenges they face and we will create the requested content to be delivered as a 2 hour session directly to a team of staff. If you’re interested in discussing a session of the kind, contact our Policy and Programmes manager, Carlyn on [email protected]. Policy The work described above with people, communities and public bodies will give us the insight we need to keep pushing for rights respecting changes to policy and legislation during this time. However, better than our voices raising concerns, we’d like to amplify your voices. People whose care has been affected, communities who are struggling with access to services, staff who are being forced to make decisions which they believe are not rights respecting. We are at the moment, creating the forums to be able to do this effectively without face to face interaction. Watch this space.