Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Human rights are for everyone!

Yesterday I took part in the final event of the British Institute of Human Right’s epic UK tour – 16 trainings in 16 cities to celebrate making human rights happen. It was a really empowering day with participants from a wide variety of organisations and public bodies and with a great deal of expertise and knowledge in the room.

In the workshop I was in we looked at what the obligations of public bodies are under the Human Rights Act and how we can ensure that they are enacting these to make their services better, safer and more accessible to everybody. It was good to look at practical examples of how the Human Rights Act can be used - you can find more examples of how it has been used to support women’s rights here.

The event was also a good opportunity to raise awareness of the current attack in the media and by our own political leaders, on the human rights legislation which we already have in place. The European Convention on Human Rights is being presented as something that is being imposed on the UK from Europe when in fact the UK was instrumental in drafting and implementing this important piece of legislation as a response to the atrocities of the Second World War.

The focus on human rights being ‘abused’ and on certain groups being more ‘deserving’ of human rights than others also totally goes against everything in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which understands that human rights must be for everybody so that we can tackle discrimination and move towards equality for all.

It is important that people learn about human rights so that they can stand up for their own rights and support the rights of others. We already have the tools we just need to use them!

Find out more about how you can use human rights in your work here.

Use our new online toolkit on the UN Women’s Bill of Rights (CEDAW) to support the women you work with.

Find out more about the proposed British Bill of Rights.