What Human Rights Do For Us - RightsInfo

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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TOP 50
50 Cases
1996
Europe

You can’t be sent to a real risk of torture

Related European Convention Articles

The deportation of a Sikh separatist to the Punjab where he would more than likely face torture due to his political beliefs and actions, was prohibited. The Court emphasised that everyone is protected from torture, even suspected terrorists.

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    Religion & Belief
    1996
    UK

    An employer cannot discriminate against an employee because of their religion

    Related European Convention Articles

    Muslim employees were refused time off during the holiday of Eid even though they offered to work extra hours to make up for it. The court said they were discriminated against because of their religion.

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    Children
    1987
    Europe

    Denying parents access to their children must be reviewable

    Related European Convention Articles

    Parents of children in care were denied access to their children. The parents were not informed of nor invited to the conference at which this decision was made. The judges said the authority's decision to terminate access must be reviewable by a tribunal.

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      TOP 50
      Children
      1994
      Europe

      Unmarried parents can be a family

      Related European Convention Articles

      The father in an unmarried couple challenged the Dutch government's refusal to recognise him as the legal father of the couple's child, unless his partner's husband denied paternity. He won his case.

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        TOP 50
        50 Cases
        2002
        UK

        Councils must provide adequate housing for disabled people

        Related European Convention Articles

        A severely disabled, incontient and wheelchair bound woman and her family of eight were housed inadequately. Their local council failed to rehouse. The High Court decided this showed a ‘singular lack of respect’ for her private and family life and awarded damages.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2014
          UK

          Mentally incapacitated people have right to freedom

          Related European Convention Articles

          The living arrangements of three mentally incapacitated people were a breach of their right to liberty. "A gilded cage is still a cage", said the Supreme Court. Mentally incapacitated people had the same rights as everyone else

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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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          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

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          1996
          Europe

          Journalists’ sources must be protected

          Related European Convention Articles

          A journalist was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to reveal a whistle-blowing source for a story. It was unfair to punish journalists for doing their job to protect commercial interests. After the judgment, the law was changed to better protect responsible investigative journalism.

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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.

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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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              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.

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                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.

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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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                  Health
                  2003
                  Europe

                  Governments must look after ill people in prison

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A heroin addict died in prison, having suffered severe withdrawal symptoms. Her children complained of inhuman and degrading treatment. The Court agreed and held states to be under a duty to ensure detainees were held in conditions compatible with human dignity.

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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  2012
                  Europe

                  Police can ‘kettle’ demonstrators to keep the peace

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Four people were kettled (forcefully contained) in a crowd by riot police during a demonstration in Central London. The police's actions were lawful, as their purpose was to prevent an imminent breach of the peace.

                  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.

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                  Family
                  2001
                  UK

                  Children are entitled to find out who their birth parents are

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A father wanted to force a mother to allow testing to confirm he was the child's birth father. She did not want the tests to happen. He won his case.

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                    Rights at Work
                    1984
                    UK

                    An employee can’t be forced to discriminate

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    An employee of an amusement centre was sacked because he refused to stop young black people from coming into the centre. He won his case as his employer acted in a discriminatory way.

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                    Health
                    2005
                    UK

                    A patient has the right to determine his/her best interests

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    A court said that withdrawing life-prolonging treatment without the patient's consent would constitute inhuman and degrading treatment and violate the right to life and respect for private life.

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                      TOP 50
                      50 Cases
                      2012
                      Europe

                      Everyone has protection from torture and unfair trial, including terrorists

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      Abu Qatada was at risk of being prosecuted using evidence obtained by torture, contrary to his to a fair trial. He was eventually deported after Jordan amended its constitution to stop the use of torture evidence.

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                      Disability
                      2004
                      UK

                      Disabled people are treated equally at work (even if it needs more effort from employers)

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A woman became virtually unable to walk and was dismissed from her job for incapacity. The court said reasonable adjustments must be made to cater for disabled people, even if that means treating the disabled person more favourably than a non-disabled person.

                      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

                        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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                          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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