Presentation on theme: "Main title Subheading Human Rights: Tackling social exclusion and inequality."— Presentation transcript:
1 Main title SubheadingHuman Rights: Tackling social exclusion and inequality
2 About BIHRWe 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 rightsBuilding capacity to use human rights based approachesInfluencing policy changeExample young disable person have the same opportunities to leisureTalk about the education project – resource and WSGKeen to develop support for orgs and disadvantaged young people
3 Aims of sessionIntroduce the ideas, the law and the practice of human rightsExplore the relationship between human rights and equalityIdentify 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 1948Belong to everyoneCannot be taken away – only limited or restrictedAre basic standards below which the state must not go, and in some cases must also protect and fulfilExpress 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 trialRespect – respect for family lifeEquality – freedom from discriminationDignity – freedom from inhuman and degrading treatmentAutonomy – respect for private lifeUseful 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 rightHRBA to equality focuses on the empowerment of the marginalised – move away from needs to rightsBeyond anti discrimination:Holistic approach looks at the treatment of a human beingProtects against universally bad treatmentProtects other forms of ill treatmentWider coverage – beyond recognised “strands”Framework for balancing rightsMake 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 livesBased 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
11 Human Rights Act 1998Public authorities must respect Convention rights in all that they doA ‘super law’ (almost) – all legislation must be interpreted in a manner compatible with the Convention or a ‘declaration of incompatibility’ will be issuedNew legislation must be declared HRA compatible or explain why notAgain 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: AbsoluteNot absoluteFor 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 expressionFreedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatmentRight to libertyRight 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 circumstancesQualified rights – the right of the individual has to be balanced against the rights of others or in the interests of the wider communityKey pointsMajority of the rights in the Act are not absolute and require a balancing actKey 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 rightsArticle 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 tortureArticle 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 ECHRNon-exhaustive list of grounds upon which discrimination is prohibitedNot all differential treatment is discrimination – can it be objectively and reasonably justified?
17 Human rights in actionThe right to private life - Enabling a gay disabled man to attend a gay pubFreedom from discrimination - Challenging the sectioning of people who spoke little or no English without the use of an interpreterRight to Life - Securing safe accommodation for a woman and her child at risk of harm from a violent ex partnerFreedom 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