What Human Rights do for Equality

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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
2008
Europe

A local authority can’t refuse gay adoption applications

Related European Convention Articles

A lesbian applied to adopt the child of her long-term partner and was refused. The European Court of Human Rights said that was discrimination. She won her case.

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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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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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Equality
2004
Europe

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

Related European Convention Articles

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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    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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    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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    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
    2010
    UK

    Gay and lesbian people can’t be returned to persecution

    Related European Convention Articles

    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
    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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    TOP 50
    Equality
    1981
    Europe

    Being gay is not a crime

    Related European Convention Articles

    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
    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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    Equality
    2004
    UK

    An employer can’t refuse to employ transgender people

    Related European Convention Articles

    A person who had an operation to become a woman was refused a job as a police officer. She won her case as she had not got the job because she was a transsexual.

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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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      TOP 50
      50 Cases
      2004
      UK

      Gay people are treated equally in inheritance matters

      Related European Convention Articles

      A gay man was stopped from inheriting a council flat from his dead male partner. Only a husband or wife could inherit. He challenged the law and the law had to change.

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        Equality
        1999
        UK

        Same-sex couples can be a family

        Related European Convention Articles

        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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          Equality
          1997
          Europe

          The age of consent is equal for all

          Related European Convention Articles

          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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          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
          2001
          UK

          Discrimination at work due to nationality isn’t allowed

          Related European Convention Articles

          An English man working for the BBC in Scotland lost his job and was replaced with a Scottish woman. He won his case - he was discriminated against because he was English and BBC Scotland wanted a Scottish person to do the job instead.

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            TOP 50
            50 Cases
            1772
            UK

            Slavery is odious

            Related European Convention Articles

            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
            2002
            Europe

            Transgender people have equal rights, including to marry

            Related European Convention Articles

            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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            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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            Disability
            2010
            UK

            The law now protects disabled people in many areas

            Related European Convention Articles

            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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            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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              What Human Rights do for Equality
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