What are human rights? A set of rules for governments Based on common values Now set down in law Developed over centuries To respect and protect individuals
Core human rights values “…recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” Universal Declaration of Human Rights Dignity Equality
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Right to life Freedom from torture Freedom of expression Right to liberty Right to political participation Freedom from slavery Freedom of thought … Right to health Right to social care Right to be free from poverty Right to housing Right to work
9/19/11 Europe UK Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights International Bill of Human Rights Human Rights Act (HRA) … European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) European Social Charter (ESC) RIGHT TO HEALTH
Looking after health and human rights Respect for human rights Better health
Human Rights Act 1998 Brought the rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law Can be used in domestic courts Everyone in the UK can rely on the protection of the HRA Public authorities have a duty to respect Convention rights
Types of rights Absolute rights Can never be interfered with Non-absolute rights Can be limited or restricted in certain circumstances e.g. to protect the rights of others
Looking at the rights… Which of the rights in the Human Rights Act do you think are absolute – ie allow for no exceptions? AbsoluteNon-absolute
A framework for balancing rights An interference with qualified rights may be permissible if: -Lawful -Legitimate aim -Necessary in a democratic society Proportionality: Is there anything that you could do that would interfere with the right less?
Human rights in action A woman escaped from the secure hospital where she had been detained under the Mental Health Act and shortly afterwards, committed suicide. She was already known to be a high suicide risk patient. Could human rights be used against the hospital?
Human rights in action Supporting family life A husband and wife had lived together for over 65 years. He was unable to walk unaided and relied on his wife to help him moved around. She was blind and used him as her eyes. They were separated after he fell ill and was moved into a care home. She was told she couldn’t go with him. Could human rights be used?
Which rights may be engaged? A woman with learning disabilities had an operation. Her relatives visited her and found her lying on her back, eyes open but not saying a word. Usually she was talkative and lively so they asked the nurse what was wrong. The nurse said ‘well, she can’t talk can she, if she has a learning disability?’. The woman was re-examined and found to have had a minor stroke.
Human rights in action A young man with childhood autism and a severe learning disability lived with his father under an extensive care package. The young man was taken to a support unit for a few days while his father was ill, and the local authority then decided he should stay there indefinitely. The father was not kept informed and both he and his son became increasingly distressed by being kept apart. Which rights could be used?
Human rights in action A mentally ill foreign national was detained while awaiting deportation, despite the evidence of psychiatrists that detention was not appropriate. While in detention he suffered hallucinations involving four threatening men and was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs. He also continued to self-harm. Could human rights be used to challenge his treatment?
Examples from your practice Can you think of examples from your work which may invoke human rights? Which human rights are engaged? Could you use human rights to bring about a change in practice?
State obligations State parties have obligations to: Respect human rights – i.e. refrain from interfering with the enjoyment of rights Protect human rights – i.e. prevent rights abuses by third parties Fulfil human rights – i.e. pro-actively engage in activities that strengthen access to and realisation of rights.
9/19/11 What is a human rights based approach? The process: Ensuring that human rights principles and standards guide all policies and practice The outcome: Ensuring that duty-bearers are able to meet their obligations and rights-holders to claim their rights The aim: to further the realisation of all human rights
9/19/11 The PANEL principles PARTICIPATION in decisions which affect their rights ACCOUNTABILITY of those responsible NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUALITY EMPOWERMENT to know their rights and how to claim them LEGALITY in all decisions through an explicit link with human rights