What Human Rights Do For Us

Some of the key human rights cases and developments in colourful bitesized cards. Press the coloured buttons to change the category.

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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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Privacy
2012
UK

Sex offenders can’t be name-shamed on Facebook

Related European Convention Articles

A man who had been convicted for sex crimes involving children acted to have Facebook remove his data and photographs from the page "Keeping Our Kid Safe From Predators". Facebook agreed, as that posed a threat to his safety and privacy.

Related links

Family
2003
UK

Deceased fathers can be named on birth certificate

Related European Convention Articles

A widow won the right to put the name of her deceased husband on the birth certificates of her children. The law was changed to allow all women to do the same.

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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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      Seeking Refuge
      2012
      Europe

      Refugees have a right to reunite with their families

      Related European Convention Articles

      The European Court of Human Rights held that the UK Government’s refusal to allow the family reunion of a refugee and his wife under relevant immigration rules was unlawfully discriminatory against the refugee on the basis of his immigration status. Every person has the right to a private and family life.

      Related links

        Rights at Work
        2011
        UK

        Workers cannot be forced to retire because of their age

        Related European Convention Articles

        The law was changed to protect those over 65 from being discriminated against by their employer and forced to retire because they were too old. Employees can now retire when they are ready to.

        Related links

        Disability
        2014
        Europe

        The withdrawal of night-time care breached Mrs McDonald’s human rights

        Related European Convention Articles

        A woman with severely limited mobility complained that the withdrawal of night-time care breached with her right to respect for her private life. For a limited period, her right to respect for her private and family life was breached.

        Related links

        Children
        1982
        Europe

        Corporal punishment in schools is not permitted

        Related European Convention Articles

        Two mothers challenged school policy permitting corporal punishment. One boy was suspended from school for refusing to accept the punishment. The policy breached the mothers' rights to educate their children according to their convictions and the child's right to access education.

        Related links

          Equality
          2013
          UK

          You can’t refuse a couple a double bed because they’re gay

          Related European Convention Articles

          Christian bed and breakfast hotel owners refused a double-bedded room to a same sex couple becasue they weren't married. Gay people couldn't get married. The Supreme Court said this was discrimination.

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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.

          Related links

            Justice
            2014
            Europe

            Prosecuting a naked rambler doesn’t breach his human rights

            Related European Convention Articles

            Stephen Gough was attempting to walk naked from from one end of the country to the other. He was stopped by the authorities and prosecuted. The European Court said this wasn't a breach of his right to free expression.

            Related links

              Disability
              2009
              UK

              The human rights of disabled people are protected by a 2009 Convention

              Related European Convention Articles

              The purpose of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

              Related links

                Religion & Belief
                1981
                Europe

                Freedom to practice religion is sometimes limited at work

                Related European Convention Articles

                A teacher said he was forced to resign from his job because the school wouldn't let him attend Friday prayers at a mosque during working hours. There was no violation of his right to freedom of religion, as he was bound by his contractual obligations.

                Seeking Refuge
                2014
                UK

                Asylum seekers are protected from homelesness and destitution

                Related European Convention Articles

                EM was an Eritrean man who experienced persecution in his home country for being a Christian, and moved to Italy, only to find himself homeless and destitute. He sought asylum in the UK, and resisted deportation. The court found if it could be established similar conditions would be present if he were deported to Italy, this would be contrary to his right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment.

                Related links

                Children
                2012
                UK

                Unaccompanied minors claiming asylum must be properly cared for

                Related European Convention Articles

                The eight appellants had arrived from Afghanistan as unaccompanied minors and were at that time aged between 15 and 16. The Home Office refused their asylum claims but granted each of them Discretionary Leave until they reached 17½, but it was found that the duty to the minors goes further than this in order to protect the minor’s best interests.

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                Speech & Protest
                2014
                UK

                Controversial speakers may be denied entry into the UK

                Related European Convention Articles

                A dissident Iranian politician appealed the Home Secretary's decision to refuse her entry into the UK. The Home Secretary won the case. Granting entry to the politician would have posed a threat to diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran.

                Related links

                  TOP 50
                  Disability
                  2002
                  Europe

                  The UK can ban assisted suicide

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A woman who suffered from motor neurone disease complained that the ban on assisted suicide breached her human rights. The court said it didn't breach her right to private life because the ban was not disproportionate.

                  Related links

                  Rights at Work
                  2014
                  UK

                  Unfair treatment can’t continue once you’ve left your job

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A person was given a bad reference by his past employer. He said that it was because he had complained of age discrimination. He won his case - even though he had left his job he should not have been treated unfairly

                  Related links

                  Children
                  2001
                  UK

                  Families who foster children should be paid the same as other carers

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A family who were fostering children within the family successfully challenged the council policy to pay them less than non-family foster carers.

                  Related links

                  Disability
                  2003
                  Europe

                  People with mental illness must be able to challenge their detention

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A detained man with an untreatable mental illness was refused discharge. His right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention was breached by delayed review and making him prove he should no longer be detained.

                  Related links

                    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.

                    Related links

                      TOP 50
                      50 Cases
                      2007
                      UK

                      Private residential care homes should be protected by human rights laws

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A private company providing residential care for disabled people was not a public authority. That meant it didn't have to protect human rights of residents. The backlash over the case led to the loophole being closed in 2008.

                      Related links

                        Rights at Work
                        2012
                        UK

                        Your right to join or form a Trade Union is protected

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        Boots blocked recognition of an independent pharmacist Trade Union. The independent union won their case - the right to collective bargaining through trade unions to protect the interests of employees had been breached.

                        Related links

                        Disability
                        2011
                        UK

                        You can’t shut a library without considering impact on disabled people

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        Individuals, including a man with a learning disability, challenged changes to councils’ library services. Equality duties had been breached by the councils’ failures to consider the potential impact on the disabled

                        Related links

                        Credits for What Human Rights Do For Us

                        Concept by: Adam Wagner

                        Research by: Adam Wagner, Anna Dannreuther, Benson Egwuonwu, Charlotte Thomas, Corralina Lopez-Curzi, Jake Richards, Karina Weller, Katie Jukes, Michael Goldin, Natasha Holcroft-Emmess, Sam Grant, Sarah Dalzell,

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                        What Human Rights Do For Us
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