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Main title Subheading Human Rights: Tackling social exclusion and inequality.

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1 Main title Subheading Human Rights: Tackling social exclusion and inequality

2 About BIHR We are an independent national charity aiming to bring human rights to life in the UK – in particular as a tool to promote social justice and tackle inequalities by: Raising awareness of human rights Building capacity to use human rights based approaches Influencing policy change Example young disable person have the same opportunities to leisure Talk about the education project – resource and WSG Keen to develop support for orgs and disadvantaged young people

3 Aims of session Introduce the ideas, the law and the practice of human rights Explore the relationship between human rights and equality Identify opportunities and challenges for the Thurd Sector to use human rights

4 Quiz In pairs please discuss the following questions:
Where do human rights come from? Can your human rights be taken away? Who in the UK is protected under HRs legislation? Name some human rights principles? Ask participants to go through the questions with the person/people sat next to them

5 Origin and key features of human rights
Modern human rights were first legally defined after WWII in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 Belong to everyone Cannot be taken away – only limited or restricted Are basic standards below which the state must not go, and in some cases must also protect and fulfil Express key principles (fairness, respect, equality, dignity, autonomy) Ask participants who they think are the state. Can mention people below but also the important point that local authorities are increasingly commissioning out their services to third sector organisations and so in some circumstances these organisations could be considered to be the state. State thinking of housing workers, mental health workers, doctors, teachers, college staff, orgs providing services of a public nature

6 Core human rights principles
Fairness – right to a fair trial Respect – respect for family life Equality – freedom from discrimination Dignity – freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment Autonomy – respect for private life Useful to think of human rights as a vehicle through which these principles become part of our every day lived experience and really importantly part of public service delivery.

7 “I was just trying to let them know how I felt about being treated as a human being,”
Rosa Parks was the catalyst of one of the most important freedom movements not only in American history but in world history .. indeed she became the symbol and personification of our nonviolent struggle for liberation and human dignity. This is Rosa Parks. When she refused to stand on the bus for a white passenger she was standing up for her right to be treated equally and not to be discriminated against. In this country equality and human rights are often seen as disconnected but we should not forget that Rosa Parks individual protest and the civil rights movement more generally and other similar movements around the world were considered to be people fighting for their human rights. Albie Sachs point about the fact that people in South Africa have been fighting for their human rights to equality and they would find it incredible that people in this country are still discussing what the relationship is between human rights and equality

8 A human rights – equality and discrimination
Equality is a fundamental human right HRBA to equality focuses on the empowerment of the marginalised – move away from needs to rights Beyond anti discrimination: Holistic approach looks at the treatment of a human being Protects against universally bad treatment Protects other forms of ill treatment Wider coverage – beyond recognised “strands” Framework for balancing rights Make the point that the third sector is used to focusing on peoples needs in particular focusing on the needs of marginalised groups and this is based on how charitable organisations were originally founded but that we need to consider how useful this is for the people experiencing the issues themselves. Supporting these groups to understand their situation in terms of rights abuses can be a more empowering and helps people to become involved in the debate about the issues they are facing and the solutions to those issues.

9 What do we mean by a Human Rights Based Approach to change?
The process by which rights are made a reality in peoples lives Based on premise that we all have rights (rights holders) and for each there is corresponding duties for the state (the duty bearer) Key principles – putting the realisation of human rights principles and standards at the heart of policy and planning (using a human rights lens) Accountability, Participation, Empowerment and Non discrimination/ attention to the most vulnerable

10 Main title Subheading Human rights The law

11 Human Rights Act 1998 Public authorities must respect Convention rights in all that they do A ‘super law’ (almost) – all legislation must be interpreted in a manner compatible with the Convention or a ‘declaration of incompatibility’ will be issued New legislation must be declared HRA compatible or explain why not Again give them examples of a public authority as paeople often see this quite narrowly.

12 Group exercise Take five minutes to decide which of these rights are:
Absolute Not absolute For each right you think is not absolute, think of an example of how it should be restricted

13 Group exercise – Absolute or non-absolute?
Freedom of expression Freedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment Right to liberty Right to respect for private and family life

14 Types of rights Absolute rights – can never be interfered with
Limited rights – can be restricted in some tightly defined circumstances Qualified rights – the right of the individual has to be balanced against the rights of others or in the interests of the wider community Key points Majority of the rights in the Act are not absolute and require a balancing act Key to get across – often the ‘penny drop’ moment when human rights make more sense, and many of the common myths/ misconceptions are overcome

15 Key rights Article 3 - Freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment – poor conditions in institutional settings, lack of regard to dignity, neglect or abusive treatment, excessive force, being sent to a country where real risk of torture Article 8 - Right to family, private life, home – privacy, family life, family visits, sexual and other relationships, knowledge about information that is kept and who it is shared with, social participation in the life of the community, independent living

16 Article 14 – prohibition of discrimination
Not a freestanding right – must be linked to one of the other rights in the ECHR Non-exhaustive list of grounds upon which discrimination is prohibited Not all differential treatment is discrimination – can it be objectively and reasonably justified?

17 Human rights in action The right to private life - Enabling a gay disabled man to attend a gay pub Freedom from discrimination - Challenging the sectioning of people who spoke little or no English without the use of an interpreter Right to Life - Securing safe accommodation for a woman and her child at risk of harm from a violent ex partner Freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment - Tackling the destitution of asylum seekers

18 Case studies Take a few minutes to read these short case studies
Discuss in your group: What, if any, human rights issues are raised?

19 Your practice With a focus on your own work discuss:
What are the opportunities/challenges that human rights brings to the work of the Third Sector? Any other comments

20 Where do human rights begin?
‘Where, after all, do human rights begin? In small places, close to home; in the everyday world of human beings……where every man, woman, and child seeks to have equal justice and opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.’ Eleanor Roosevelt

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