WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS?

  • Human Rights are the values which help keep our society fair, just and equal.
  • They are basic moral principles which are enforced by law
  • Laws protecting basic rights have a long history, going back at least 800 years to Magna Carta, through the 1689 English Bill of Rights, the American Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen and, more recently, the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the European Convention on Human rights and the Human Rights Act.

WHO HAS HUMAN RIGHTS?

  • Human rights protect everyone.
  • Children, disabled people, elderly people, gay people, families, prisoners, refugees, religious people…
  • They protect you!

What Is The European Convention
on Human Rights?

The European Convention on human rights is an international treaty which protects human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.

  • It is a simple list of the key rights which people need to live a dignified life.
  • It is enforced by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
  • It was written in 1950 by the Council of Europe, which was set up after the Second World War to stop the horrors of Fascism happening again.
  • The United Kingdom, under the leadership of Winston Churchill, played a central role in the Council of Europe and in drafting the Convention.

What Is The Human Rights Act?

The Human Rights Act is a 1998 act of Parliament which made human rights part of our law, available to everyone in the United Kingdom

  • The Human Rights Act brought the rights in the European Convention into UK law
  • It means public authorities, like schools, hospitals and the police, must protect our human rights
  • If our human rights are being breached, we can go to a local judge who must enforce them. Previously we had to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

What is the British Bill of Rights?

We already have one – it’s the 1689 Bill of Rights (strictly, English and not British). But there is another in the pipeline.

  • The 1689 Bill of Rights is a key document in the history of human rights, confirming the limits of the monarchy, the freedom of parliament and the famous prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
  • The new Bill of Rights has been proposed by the current government, to replace the Human Rights Act.
  • Many say that the Human Rights Act is in effect a bill of rights, as it guarantees basic freedoms and is enforceable by members of the public.