Over 150 Chief Executives call for political leaders to stand firm on the Human Rights Act Thursday 10 December 2015 PDF Print 150+ Chief Executives publish an open letter to political leaders to stand with them in support of the Human Rights Act. 150+ Chief Executives publish an open letter to political leaders to stand with them in support of the Human Rights Act. Today, on Human Rights Day, Chief Executives of over 150 organisations across the United Kingdom have signed an open letter from the British Institute of Human Rights, published in The Times, making clear that, together, we “stand with the Human Rights Act recognising it is the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights made law here at home” and urging our political leaders “to stand with us”. The organisations, which represent people from across the UK including carers, older people, disabled people and children, as well as professional bodies like the Royal College of Midwives and the four Children’s Commissioners, highlight concern that “[t]oday the future of human rights in the UK is uncertain” and stress the importance of the Human Rights Act as making “the universal human rights we share with people across the world part of our law here at home”. The full letter reads: “Dear political leaders, Today is Human Rights Day. Across the globe, people are celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This international Magna Carta for all humanity has inspired so much, including our own Human Rights Act. Today we celebrate the often overlooked everyday differences our Human Rights Act makes for people across the UK. Our examples are many, whether this is supporting children to access education, stopping inhuman treatment of older people, providing refugees with safety, preventing discrimination, or offering justice for victims and families failed by the system, and many more. Today we celebrate how our Human Rights Act strengthens our democracy, giving everyone a voice, and ensuring the powerful do not go unchecked. Today we celebrate how our Human Rights Act does more than defend our traditional liberties. It makes the universal human rights we share with people across the world part of our law here at home. Today the future of human rights in the UK is uncertain. Today we stand with the Human Rights Act recognising it is the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights made law here at home. We urge our political leaders to stand with us.” Stephen Bowen, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, said: “As Human Rights Day is celebrated across the globe and around the country, this is an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress made at home on human rights, this year being the 15th anniversary of our own Human Rights Act. I am delighted that scores of organisations across the UK have joined with us to speak up for the importance of our Human Rights Act. At a time when our human rights at home risk being unravelled by the government policy to ‘scrap’ the law and replace it with a ‘British Bill of Rights’, today’s letter from civil society to our political leaders is a timely reminder that our Human Rights Act is based on the universal human rights that protect us all, and which are being celebrated around the world today.” ENDS EDITORS NOTES 1. To arrange comment from BIHR, please contact Helen Wildbore, Senior Human Rights Officer on 0207 882 5851 or email@example.com. Out of hours, contact Sanchita Hosali, Deputy Director on 07598 441150. A copy of the letter as it appears in The Times is available here: www.bihr.org.uk/news/HRDayletter15 2. 10 December is International Human Rights Day, celebrated across the globe every year to mark the day in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed. The UDHR inspired future human rights laws, including the rights in our own Human Rights Act. Each year the British Institute of Human Rights joins with others to celebrate Human Rights Day. We do this through national actions, such as coordinating our annual Human Rights Day letter signed by civil society organisations, this year signed by over 150 Chief Executives and published as a full page in The Times newspaper on 10 December. We also do this by supporting people to organise local actions in their communities. The signatories are listed below 3. This year Human Rights Day takes on special significance here at home as this year is the 15th anniversary of the UK’s Human Rights Act being in force which we recently celebrated with 15 Days of Action. Following on from this success, BIHR will be marking Human Rights Day by also celebrating 15 years of universal human rights protections here at home. 4. The British Institute of Human Rights, founded 45 years ago, is an independent charity working to bring human rights to life here at home. We empower people to: • know what human rights are (and often what they are not); • use them in practice achieve positive change in everyday life without resorting to the courts; and • protect make sure those in power respect and progress our human rights laws and systems. At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to making sure the international promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, developed after the horrors of World War II, is made real here at home. Our innovative work seeks to achieve a society where human rights are respected as the cornerstone of our democracy and enable each of us to live well in communities that value the equal dignity of each person. Our education, research and advocacy work supports people and organisations to realise the potential of human rights to empower people and to transform organisations. By doing so, we inspire a new generation of organisations and individuals to recognise that human rights are the standards by which we should live, and to live up to their human rights responsibilities. List of signatories British Institute of Human Rights; Act for the Act Campaign Action on Elder Abuse Action on Hearing Loss Advice UK Advocacy Focus Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale Age Connects Morgannwg Age Connects Neath Port Talbot Age Connects North East Wales Age Scotland AIRE Centre All Wales People First Alternative Futures Group Amnesty International UK Arcadea Ashinana Network Asylum Aid Asylum Link ATD Fourth World AVA (Against Violence and Abuse) BHA for Equality Birthrights BRAP British Humanist Association British Institute of Learning Disabilities CAJ Campaign for Freedom of Information Carers UK Caritas Social Action Network Child Poverty Action Group Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Scotland Children are unbeatable! Alliance Children's Commissioner for England Children's Commissioner for Wales Children's Rights Alliance for England Clynfyw Care Farm Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights Discrimination Law Association Diverse Cymru Doctors of the World Down's syndrome Association End Violence against Women English PEN EPCAT UK Equal Rights Trust Equality and Diversity Forum Equality Now Fair Trials Faiths Forum for London Family Rights Group Fawcett Society Freedom from Torture FRESh Friends, Families and Travellers GALOP Garden Court Chambers Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) Global Witness Grandparents Plus Greenwich Migrant Hub Hackney Migrant Centre Helen Bamber Foundation Housing Justice Howard League for Penal Reform Human Rights Consortium Human Rights Consortium Human Rights Watch Hywel Dda University Health Board IARS International Institute Imkaan Imran Khan and Partners INQUEST Inspire Women Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants Just for kids Law JUST West Yorkshire JUSTICE Kalayaan Law Centres Network Legal Action Group Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) LGBT Consortium LGBT Foundation Liberty London Voluntary Service Council Manor Gardens Welfare Trust Medical Justice Mental Health Foundation Migrant and Refugee Community Forum Migrant Rights Network Mind NAT National Care Forum National Development Team for Inclusion National Survivor User Network National Union of Students National Voices NAWO NICEM North West Community Network Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People Older People's Commission for Wales Patients Association Pembrokeshire People First Praxis Prison Reform Trust Race on the Agenda RAMFEL REDRESS Refugee Council Rene Cassin Reprieve Rights of Women Rights Watch UK Royal College of Midwives Royal College of Nursing Runnymede Trust S&S Immigration Law Safer Wales Ltd SANE Scope Scottish Legal Action Group Songololo Feet Southall Black Sisters Southern Advocacy Services Stroke Association Sue Ryder Suicide Crisis Survivors Speak OUT Tameside Human Rights Watch and UK Immigration Services The Centre of European Law and Internationalisation (CELI) The Children's Society The Judith Trust The Life Story Network Together - Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights Trade Union Congress Transform Justice Traveller Movement True Voice UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group UK Race and Europe Network UNISON Unite United Nations Association - UK University of Roehampton and Crucible Centre for Human Rights Unlock Democracy Voice4Change Voluntary Action Islington Welsh Women’s Aid Wish WNDiS (West Norfolk Disability Information Service) Women's Aid Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland Women's Resource Centre Young Legal Aid Lawyers This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of The British Institute of Human Rights in the following categories: Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.