What Human Rights do for Families

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Family
2010
Europe

A tenant’s family circumstances must be considered during eviction

Related European Convention Articles

Tenants in a housing trust said they should not be evicted even after their leases had come to an end as it would cause their families hardship. They won their case.

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Children
1994
Europe

Unmarried parents can be a family

Related European Convention Articles

The father in an unmarried couple challenged the Dutch government's refusal to recognise him as the legal father of the couple's child, unless his partner's husband denied paternity. He won his case.

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    Family
    2002
    Europe

    Adults can access records of time spent in care as child

    Related European Convention Articles

    A man wanted access to personal records of his time spent his care. He suspected the authority knew he was at risk of sexual abuse. The authority refused. He won his case.

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      Children
      2003
      Europe

      Four children were protected from their mum’s partner

      Related European Convention Articles

      Children were sexually and physically abused by their mother's partner. Social services failed to discover the problem and prevent abuse. A judge decided they had been treated inhumanely and their right to private/family life was breached. They were entitled to compensation.

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        Children
        2002
        Europe

        If child access is jeopardised, parents must have legal representation

        Related European Convention Articles

        Parents were denied legal representation at a hearing to free their child for adoption. This breached their rights to a fair hearing and respect for family life, as the importance and complexity meant they should have legal representation.

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          Children
          1994
          Europe

          Children can’t be put up for adoption without parents knowing

          Related European Convention Articles

          Laws which allowed a child to be put up for adoption without her biological father's knowledge or consent breached his right to respect for private and family life, and meant he had been deprived of a fair hearing.

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          Family
          2001
          UK

          Female prisoners and their babies should not be automatically separated

          Related European Convention Articles

          Two women serving long prison sentences challenged the prison policy to remove their children from them at eighteen months. One won, the other lost. The prison service was told to be flexible in how it treated women with babies.

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            Equality
            2012
            Europe

            Gypsy families must have stronger rights to challenge eviction

            Related European Convention Articles

            Mrs Buckland was evicted from her caravan site following anti-social behaviour by her son and non-payment of bills by herself. She complained that had not had the chance to appeal against her conviction. She won her case.

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            TOP 50
            50 Cases
            2002
            UK

            Councils must provide adequate housing for disabled people

            Related European Convention Articles

            A severely disabled, incontient and wheelchair bound woman and her family of eight were housed inadequately. Their local council failed to rehouse. The High Court decided this showed a ‘singular lack of respect’ for her private and family life and awarded damages.

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              Children
              2001
              Europe

              Birth parents must be involved in childcare decisions

              Related European Convention Articles

              A four-year-old girl was taken into care and placed for adoption following allegations of abuse. Her mother was not consulted on the care plan and succeeded in her claim that this breached her right to a family life.

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                Family
                2007
                Europe

                Prisoners may be entitled to artificial insemination

                Related European Convention Articles

                A prisoner and his wife were refused artificial insemination. He was serving a sentence for murder and she would be past child-bearing age when he was released. They won their case.

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                  Family
                  2014
                  UK

                  A woman could have a child using sperm of her deceased partner

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A widow wanted to use the sperm of her husband, who died aged 32 years old of a brain tumour. He had not given his consent in writing. She won her case.

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                  Family
                  2014
                  Europe

                  If you’re a parent in one country, you’re a parent everywhere

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  French courts refused to grant legal recognition of parent-child relationships which had been legally recognised in the USA. This was found to breach the child's right to respect for private life.

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                  Children
                  2011
                  UK

                  Children abducted by a parent should generally be returned immediately

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Children were abducted by their mother, without their father's knowledge, from Norway and brought to the UK. The children would be returned to Norway as, overall, it was in their best interests.

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                  Family
                  2006
                  Europe

                  Both parents must consent to the use of sperm in IVF treatment

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A woman and her husband separated after they had agreed to fertilise her eggs. The embryos were frozen and stored. She wanted to proceed with the pregnancy, he did not. She lost her case.

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                    Children
                    1987
                    Europe

                    Denying parents access to their children must be reviewable

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    Parents of children in care were denied access to their children. The parents were not informed of nor invited to the conference at which this decision was made. The judges said the authority's decision to terminate access must be reviewable by a tribunal.

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                      Family
                      2008
                      UK

                      Unmarried couples in Northern Ireland can apply to adopt

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      An unmarried couple in Northern Ireland were banned from applying to adopt because they were unmarried. They challenged the ban and they won their case.

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                      Family
                      2001
                      UK

                      Children are entitled to find out who their birth parents are

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A father wanted to force a mother to allow testing to confirm he was the child's birth father. She did not want the tests to happen. He won his case.

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                        Children
                        2001
                        Europe

                        Children should be protected from abuse within the family

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        Children in a family suffered abuse and neglect by their mother. They were not protected properly by the social services. They won their case and were awarded damages.

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                        Children
                        1987
                        Europe

                        Birth parents have the right to challenge childcare decisions

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        A mother complained that she was not given the chance to object to her children being taken into care. She won her case.

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                          Disability
                          2013
                          UK

                          A woman with Down’s Syndrome wasn’t force sterilised

                          Related European Convention Articles

                          A local authority wanted a court to let doctors sterilise a woman with Down’s Syndrome. The court focused on her best interests and said the decision had to be the 'least restrictive' of a person’s rights and freedom of action. It wouldn't allow the sterilisation.

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                            Family
                            2014
                            UK

                            Doctors must involve families in ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ notices for patients

                            Related European Convention Articles

                            A 'Do Not Resuscitate' Notice was put in the Mrs Tracey's medical notes without consulting her or her family. The doctors' failure to consult breached her right to personal autonomy and to respect for private and family life.

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                            Disability
                            1975
                            UK

                            Sterilisation is considered the deprivation of a basic human right

                            Related European Convention Articles

                            This case was about the wardship of an 11 year old girl with mental health problems. The court said sterilisation was the deprivation of a basic human right and it would, if for non-therapeutic reasons without consent, be a violation of that right.

                            Family
                            2003
                            UK

                            Councils must adapt to needs of disabled families

                            Related European Convention Articles

                            Carers refused to lift disabled daughters because they were not allowed to under the terms of their employment. The family objected to their refusal to help. The family won their case.

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                              What Human Rights do for Families
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