What Human Rights do for Equality - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Equality

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Equality
1999
UK

Same-sex couples can be a family

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A man was not allowed to inherit the council flat of his long-term male partner, who had died, because they were gay. The court said this was discrimination. He won his case.

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    Disability
    2010
    UK

    The law now protects disabled people in many areas

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    The Equality Act outlaws discrimination on grounds of disability, age, sex, race, religion and other characteristics, at work and when receiving services. It brought together all existing anti-discrimination law.

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    Equality
    2000
    Europe

    Juries must not discriminate

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    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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    Equality
    1997
    Europe

    Female-to-male transsexuals can be treated as the father of their child

    Related European Convention Articles

    A transsexual was entitled to be treated as the father of his child, even though he could not be registered as the father on the child's birth certificate. The law has now changed and this would be possible.

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      Equality
      2002
      Europe

      Transgender people have equal rights, including to marry

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      Christine Goodwin complained she was not entitled to the same employment, social security and pension rights as those born female. The European Court said that was discrimination. Shortly afterwards, the UK introduced a system which allowed transsexual people to be legally recognised in their new gender.

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      TOP 50
      Equality
      1981
      Europe

      Being gay is not a crime

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      A Northern Irish man had been interrogated by the local police on his sexual activities - he was gay and Northern Ireland's law punished homosexuality. The European Court ruled his right to privacy had been breached. Shortly afterwards, Northern Ireland decriminalised homosexuality.

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      TOP 50
      50 Cases
      2010
      UK

      Gay and lesbian people can’t be returned to persecution

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      Under the United Nations Refugee Convention, social groups that have a well-founded fear of persecution are refugees. In this case, the Supreme Court said gays and lesbians could not be expected to live closeted lives in places they are persecuted.

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      Equality
      1997
      Europe

      The age of consent is equal for all

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      The UK had an higher age of consent for homosexuals. The European Court said this discriminated against Mr Surtherland and violated his right to privacy. The UK government then committed to equalise the age of consent, which it did in 2000.

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      Disability
      2014
      UK

      Closing adult day care centres without consultation is wrong

      Related European Convention Articles

      A disabled adult challenged the closure of an adult day care centre. The failure to consult users and relatives before the council decided to close it had been unlawful.

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      Children
      2007
      Europe

      Children of all races must have equal access to education

      Related European Convention Articles

      Disproportionate numbers of Roma children were placed in special schools. This breached their right to access to primary education and their right not to be discriminated against on racial grounds.

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        Equality
        2004
        Europe

        The age of consent must be the same whether you’re gay or straight

        Related European Convention Articles

        A man had been arrested and charged for having sex with a 16 year old. He won his case in the European Court. It was unlawful discrimination and a breach of the right to privacy to have a different age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual intercourse.

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          Equality
          2004
          Europe

          Gypsies have same right to keep their homes as caravan owners

          Related European Convention Articles

          The Council wanted to evict a gypsy family because of anti-social behaviour. The family won its case and were allowed to stay. The government changed the law shortly afterwards to protect gypsies from eviction.

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          Equality
          2004
          Europe

          Women can’t be forced to take their husband’s name

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          A married woman who took her husband's name wasn't allowed to continue using her maiden name in her professional life. This was judged to be an interference with her private life, and discriminatory.

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            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

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            TOP 50
            50 Cases
            2014
            UK

            Police must investigate rape claims

            Related European Convention Articles

            Two women complained to the police about sexual assault by a taxi driver. He was not brought to justice. It turned out he had raped and/or assaulted 100 women. The women won their claim that they suffered degrading treatment because the police failed to act.

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            Disability
            2015
            UK

            A disabled person can’t be evicted if it’s discriminatory

            Related European Convention Articles

            A disabled man facing eviction said he was being discriminated against by his landlord. The Supreme Court said that judges have to consider discrimination eviction cases carefully and in detail.

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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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              Equality
              2014
              UK

              Transgender people can stay married after changing gender

              Related European Convention Articles

              Gay couples can convert their civil partnerships to marriages. Transgender people do not now have to get divorced following surgery.

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              Disability
              2004
              UK

              Disabled people must be able to access public transport too

              Related European Convention Articles

              A wheelchair user wanted a train company to pay for a taxi to assist his train travel. The court said as long as it was reasonably practicable, disabled people should be given equivalent access to public transport.

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                Equality
                2011
                UK

                Employees can’t be treated badly because they are gay

                Related European Convention Articles

                A pub's management forced a gay employee to make the pub less welcoming to gay people, then made comments about him being gay, pushing him to resign. He won his case as he had been badly treated because of his sexuality.

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                Equality
                2006
                Europe

                Children of all races must have equal access to education

                Related European Convention Articles

                Disproportionate numbers of Roma children were placed in special schools. This breached their right to access to primary education and their right not to be discriminated against on racial grounds.

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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  1772
                  UK

                  Slavery is odious

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                  A slave escaped then was imprisoned by his "master" on a ship bound for Jamaica, where he would be sold. Lord Mansfield ordered his release and said there was no support for slavery in English law: "The state of slavery...is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it". A key moment for the abolition movement.

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                  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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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  2004
                  UK

                  No race barriers to asylum

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  British immigration officers at Prague airport were told to make it more difficult for Roma people to come here. The court said that racial discrimination at any point in the asylum process is not permitted, and no race of people is excluded from the right to asylum.

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                    What Human Rights do for Equality
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