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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Rights at Work
2008
Europe

Employers must be fair to people who care for disabled people

Related European Convention Articles

An employee with a disabled child felt forced to resign after being refused a flexible working hours arrangement which she needed to care for her disabled son. She had been discriminated against.

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TOP 50
50 Cases
2003
Europe

A council shouldn’t have given CCTV suicide footage to media

Related European Convention Articles

Mr Peck's suicide attempt was caught on CCTV. The local council gave the footage to the media. This was a violation of his right to privacy - things happening in public can still be private.

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    TOP 50
    Equality
    1999
    Europe

    Openly gay soldiers can serve in the Armed Forces

    Related European Convention Articles

    Four men were dismissed from the Royal Navy for being homosexuals. The European Court of Human Rights ruled their their right to privacy had been violated. Because of this, the Armed Forces withdrew the long-standing ban on homosexuals serving.

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    TOP 50
    50 Cases
    2012
    UK

    Hospitals must protect vulnerable patients at risk of suicide

    Related European Convention Articles

    A hospital should have done more to prevent the suicide of Melanie Rabone, a voluntary mental health patient. She was at an immediate risk of suicide, so the hospital had a duty to protect her right to life.

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    Equality
    1985
    Europe

    Female immigrants get the same protection as male immigrants

    Related European Convention Articles

    Three women were legally resident in the UK. Their husbands, resident abroad, were not allowed to live in the UK with their wives and families. They successfully challenged the rules, which were later changed.

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    Speech & Protest
    2003
    Europe

    Campaigners are not necessarily entitled to meet on private property

    Related European Convention Articles

    Campaigners were barred from distributing leaflets in a private shopping centre. This did not breach their right to freedom of expression. The campaigners did not have an automatic right to enter private property, nor were their ability to express speech destroyed.

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      TOP 50
      50 Cases
      1978
      Europe

      ‘Deep interrogation’ techniques are inhuman and degrading

      Related European Convention Articles

      IRA members were arrested and detained in the UK. They were subjected to "stress techniques" such as wall-standing, hooding, sleep and food deprivation. This caused physical and psychiatric suffering. The European Court said this was torture and inhuman/degrading treatment.

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        Children
        2014
        UK

        Men suspected of grooming were banned from contacting girls

        Related European Convention Articles

        Ten men were suspected of exploiting a young woman for sex. There was not enough evidence to prosecute them. They were banned from contacting the young woman.

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        Equality
        2000
        Europe

        Juries must not discriminate

        Related European Convention Articles

        A defendant in criminal proceedings believed members of the jury were racist as they had made racist jokes. The court agreed the trial had been unfair.

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        Health
        1998
        Europe

        Governments must provide information if exposing public to hazards

        Related European Convention Articles

        The applicants were members of the armed forces present at the Christmas Island nuclear tests in the 1950s. They complained the government was hiding adverse information about the tests. The court confirmed the government must allow people to get to the truth.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2004
          UK

          The supermodel’s privacy was breached by a tabloid rehab scoop

          Related European Convention Articles

          Naomi Campbell complained about photos taken of her leaving a rehab clinic and published in the Daily Mirror. The UK's highest court found Campbell's right to privacy outweighed that of the press to run the photos.

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          Children
          2015
          UK

          Disabled children still entitled to benefits in hospital

          Related European Convention Articles

          A child’s disability benefit was taken away because he was in hospital for more than 84 days. This was discrimination and took no account of the fact that his family actually incurred additional costs while caring for him in hospital.

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            Rights at Work
            2014
            UK

            Employers can’t take away wages without good reason

            Related European Convention Articles

            Four years worth of an employee's wages were confiscated by his employer after it was found out that he had got the job using a false passport. He won his case - his right to property had been breached.

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              Rights at Work
              1993
              Europe

              Firing an employee must not take years

              Related European Convention Articles

              The health service took 9 years to fire an employee. The employee won his case as the health service took too much time to let the employee go.

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                Speech & Protest
                2005
                Europe

                Inciting hatred isn’t part of freedom of speech

                Related European Convention Articles

                A British National Party member displayed a poster outside his house containing an inflammatory statement about Islam. He was convicted of a criminal offence. Mr Noorwood argued this breached his free expression rights - his case failed.

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                  Children
                  1989
                  Europe

                  Care leavers can access their child care records

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A care leaver wanted access to care records to establish whether he had grounds to complain of ill-treatment whilst in care. He was not permitted to see the entire file. This breached his right to respect for private life.

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                    Rights at Work
                    2013
                    UK

                    Clearly false accusations by employers can’t be made public

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    A Nigerian nurse was accused of mistreating the elderly people in her care. These accusations were made public even though they were false. She won her case as this would make getting another job very difficult.

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                    Equality
                    1995
                    Europe

                    Rape is accepted as essentially debasing

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    A man appealed against his conviction of raping his wife, arguing that rape in marriage wasn't a crime at the time. The European Court rejected this, and said attitudes to rape were travelling in a clear direction that was defined and foreseeable.

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                    Seeking Refuge
                    2008
                    Europe

                    Unreasonable delays in prolonging detention are unacceptable

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    The court states that detention or arrest of a person is only lawful in cases of non-compliance with the lawful order of a court, or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law. As the appellant fit neither of these criteria, the Court ruled that his detention had been unlawful under the terms of ECHR.

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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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                      Justice
                      2011
                      UK

                      Retention of DNA evidence by police is unlawful

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      Two people who had been charged with a crime but later acquitted complained that the Police where still holding onto their DNA. They won. Guidelines which say that DNA evidence can only be destroyed in "exceptional circumstances" must be subject to their right to privacy.

                      Related links

                      Disability
                      2012
                      UK

                      Detaining immigrants with mental health problems can be degrading treatment

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A man with a mental health disorder was detained in immigration removal centres for months, despite worsening mental health problems. The delay in getting him to a hospital was unlawful, and constituted degrading treatment.

                      Related links

                      Victims of Crime
                      2002
                      Europe

                      Prisoners are protected from attack by other dangerous prisoners

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A mentally ill prisoner was murdered by another mentally ill prisoner. The prison conducted a private inquiry which was inadequate. The parents won their claim.

                      Related links

                      Seeking Refuge
                      2011
                      Europe

                      No-one should endure inhuman or degrading treatment

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      The conditions faced by asylum seekers in Greece were deemed tantamount to “inhuman or degrading treatment,” and Greece and Belgium were both found to be in violation of the ECHR. The appellant’s detention and living conditions while in Greece meant that both Greece and Belgium were in violation if a deportation were to be enforced.

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                      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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