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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Speech & Protest
2015
Europe

Journalists may secretly film and record other people, if it’s in best interest of the public

Related European Convention Articles

Four journalists were convicted for secretly recording and broadcasting an interview with an insurance broker. The conviction violated their right to freedom of expression. There was an overriding public interest in showing the interview, which exposed misleading advice given by insurance companies.

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    Religion & Belief
    2012
    Europe

    You can’t be sacked just for being a member of a political party

    Related European Convention Articles

    A member of the British National Party was sacked as a driver transporting disabled people. The European Court said his right to free expression and free association were breached. The law was changed to make it easier for employees to claim unfair dismissal if they were disadvantaged because of their politics.

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    Family
    2001
    UK

    Female prisoners and their babies should not be automatically separated

    Related European Convention Articles

    Two women serving long prison sentences challenged the prison policy to remove their children from them at eighteen months. One won, the other lost. The prison service was told to be flexible in how it treated women with babies.

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      Seeking Refuge
      2012
      UK

      Asylum seekers have a right to accommodation whilst awaiting decisions

      Related European Convention Articles

      This landmark ruling found that the failure of the Home Office to provide access to support for asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their further claim for asylum for a minimum of three weeks is leading to homelessness and destitution.

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        TOP 50
        50 Cases
        1984
        Europe

        Police need a warrant to tap our phones

        Related European Convention Articles

        A businessman had his phone tapped by the police without a warrant. The European Court of Human Rights said this as a violation of his right to privacy. So, the government introduced the Interception of Communications Act. A warrant is now needed for phone tapping by police and security services.

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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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        Justice
        1990
        Europe

        Long-term prisoners must have their sentences regularly reviewed

        Related European Convention Articles

        Two prisoners with life sentences claimed that they should have the right to have their claim periodically reviewed. They won - after a certain period, the right to liberty ensures that a sentence must be periodically reviewed.

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          Equality
          2000
          Europe

          Consensual gay activity is legal

          Related European Convention Articles

          A man was prosecuted for gross indecency for taking part in gay group sex. The European Court of Human Rights said this was a violation of his right to privacy. The law was changed in 2003 by the Sexual Offences Act.

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          Family
          2003
          UK

          Councils must adapt to needs of disabled families

          Related European Convention Articles

          Carers refused to lift disabled daughters because they were not allowed to under the terms of their employment. The family objected to their refusal to help. The family won their case.

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            TOP 50
            Disability
            2002
            Europe

            The UK can ban assisted suicide

            Related European Convention Articles

            A woman who suffered from motor neurone disease complained that the ban on assisted suicide breached her human rights. The court said it didn't breach her right to private life because the ban was not disproportionate.

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            Health
            2002
            Europe

            Birth parents must be treated sensitively in emergency care proceedings

            Related European Convention Articles

            A baby was taken away from her birth mother at birth and placed with foster carers. The birth parents were not legally represented when the plan for adoption was approved. They won their case and were awarded damages.

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              Children
              2012
              UK

              A child’s surgery happened despite mum’s objection

              Related European Convention Articles

              A child was prescribed chemo- and radiotherapy after brain surgery. His mother refused to consent to the treatment. A court decided that the treatment was in the child's best interests and ordered it to go ahead.

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              Privacy
              2011
              UK

              A new law of privacy is evolving, case by case

              Related European Convention Articles

              After the enactment of the Human Rights Act, the UK government blessed the development of privacy law by the Courts. A new claim for misuse of private information is being shaped by judges.

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              Privacy
              2007
              Europe

              There is a right to privacy in the workplace

              Related European Convention Articles

              Ten years after Halford, another case of workplace privacy: the monitoring of telephone, e-mail and internet usage of a employees is unlawful and violates her right to privacy, unless it is clearly and fairly disciplined.

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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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              TOP 50
              50 Cases
              2010
              Europe

              Police stop and search powers can’t be limitless

              Related European Convention Articles

              Two protesters were stopped and searched, without any grounds for suspicion, by the police. The European Court of Human Rights said this was a violation of their right to privacy. The UK government had to review its anti-terrorism law.

              Related links

                Privacy
                2010
                UK

                Police can be sued for revealing a person’s private sex life

                Related European Convention Articles

                A man sued the police for making damaging revelations on his sex-life without proper cause. He won his case, as his right to privacy had been breached.

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                  Seeking Refuge
                  2008
                  UK

                  Children aren’t returned to danger

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Removal from the UK would have a negative impact on a 13-year-old's private life, as he would have been forced into a home with unsafe conditions back in Vietnam. Human rights legislation prevented this from occurring.

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                    Health
                    2009
                    Europe

                    Patients can get photocopies of their own medical records

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    Eight Roma women suspected they had been sterilised by medical authorities when having caesarians. They were refused permission to photocopy their medical records to assess their health status and begin litigation. They won their case.

                    Related links

                    Health
                    1998
                    Europe

                    Government must be honest about pollution risks to those affected

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    The claimants lived near to a factory causing high levels of pollution but received no information on its activity, safety measures or emergency plans. They won their case. Government must inform inhabitants to enable them to decide whether to continue living there.

                    Related links

                    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.

                    Related links

                    Justice
                    2012
                    Europe

                    Abu Hamza and others can be extradited to the US

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    Abu Hamza and four others, wanted for terrorist activities in the US, can be deported regardless of their argument that doing so would mean they would likely receive extremely long sentences in "super-max" prisons which could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.

                    Related links

                    Victims of Crime
                    2013
                    UK

                    Victims of British colonial abuse are entitled to damages

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    Victims of horrific treatment in Kenyan detention camps run by colonial officials between 1952-1963 brought a claim against the British government. The government settled the case, apologised and paid them damages.

                    Related links

                    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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                    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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