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.

Order by: Shuffle
Seeking Refuge
2010
Europe

If you face racial discrimination at home, you can seek refuge elsewhere

Related European Convention Articles

The court ruled in favour of a Bhutanese national’s claim for asylum on the grounds that his removal to Bhutan would expose him to a risk of ill-treatment due to his Nepali minority ethnicity. The court maintained that acts motivated by racial discrimination will constitute an aggravating factor.

Related links

    Religion & Belief
    2008
    UK

    A student could wear a Sikh bangle in school

    Related European Convention Articles

    The school refused to allow the student to wear the Kara as part of her uniform. A court said that was discrimination. The Kara, a small and unobtrusive item of jewellery, was of exceptional importance to her identity and race.

    Related links

    TOP 50
    Speech & Protest
    1996
    Europe

    Journalists can refuse to reveal their confidential sources

    Related European Convention Articles

    A company wanted to force a journalist to reveal a confidential source. The journalist refused and was fined. The journalist won the case, because forcing disclosure would restrict freedom of expression

    Related links

      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.

      Related links

      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.

      Related links

      Religion & Belief
      2010
      UK

      Asylum seekers can’t be expected to lie about their political beliefs

      Related European Convention Articles

      Lack of commitment to a political party can be protected if the authorities could torture or kill a person for their lack of belief. A man from Zimbabwe, who feared persecution from the Mugabe regime, was granted asylum.

      Related links

      Justice
      2011
      UK

      Retention of DNA evidence by police is unlawful

      Related European Convention Articles

      Two people who had been charged with a crime but later acquitted complained that the Police where still holding onto their DNA. They won. Guidelines which say that DNA evidence can only be destroyed in "exceptional circumstances" must be subject to their right to privacy.

      Related links

      Rights at Work
      2010
      UK

      Soldiers’ right to life is protected while serving abroad

      Related European Convention Articles

      A soldier died from excessive heat having complained many times. The Ministry of Defence tried to get the complaint struck out. The court said soldiers' right to life was protected even when serving abroad.

      Related links

      Family
      2008
      UK

      Unmarried couples in Northern Ireland can apply to adopt

      Related European Convention Articles

      An unmarried couple in Northern Ireland were banned from applying to adopt because they were unmarried. They challenged the ban and they won their case.

      Related links

      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.

      Related links

      Seeking Refuge
      2004
      UK

      Asylum seekers have a right to preserve their mental stability

      Related European Convention Articles

      The ECHR gives people the right to a private and family life. In this case, it was shown that mental health can be considered a component of this right. Razgar was an Iraqi asylum seeker who was to be deported to be Germany. It was shown that the effects of deportation would be seriously harmful to his mental health. Consequently, Razgar was allowed to stay in the UK, relying on right to the preservation of his mental stability.

      Related links

        Children
        2012
        UK

        Children in care must be properly protected by the state

        Related European Convention Articles

        Two boys came into local authority care and were freed for adoption. The boys were moved between foster placements for 11 years, becoming increasingly unsettled. This breached several of their rights and local authorities had to re-examine their care systems.

        Related links

          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.

          Related links

          Children
          2002
          Europe

          If child access is jeopardised, parents must have legal representation

          Related European Convention Articles

          Parents were denied legal representation at a hearing to free their child for adoption. This breached their rights to a fair hearing and respect for family life, as the importance and complexity meant they should have legal representation.

          Related links

            Children
            2015
            UK

            Disabled children still entitled to benefits in hospital

            Related European Convention Articles

            A child’s disability benefit was taken away because he was in hospital for more than 84 days. This was discrimination and took no account of the fact that his family actually incurred additional costs while caring for him in hospital.

            Related links

              Seeking Refuge
              2001
              UK

              Fake documents are sometimes only way to flee danger – people must still be protected

              Related European Convention Articles

              This case involved claims brought forward by an Algerian, an Iraqi Kurd and an Albanian, challenging their prosecutions by Crown Prosecution Services for travelling to, or attempting to travel from, the UK on false papers. The act of seeking asylum should not be criminalised.

              Related links

                Family
                2014
                UK

                A woman could have a child using sperm of her deceased partner

                Related European Convention Articles

                A widow wanted to use the sperm of her husband, who died aged 32 years old of a brain tumour. He had not given his consent in writing. She won her case.

                Related links

                Seeking Refuge
                2009
                UK

                People don’t have to go back to a place that makes them suicidal

                Related European Convention Articles

                Inhuman treatment is unconditionally prohibited by article 3 of the ECHR, and in this case it was found that a risk of suicide upon deportation can be included within this definition. The appellants were Tamil Sri Lankans, brother and sister, who had been tortured by government security forces leading them to both suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Their asylum claims made on a humanitarian basis were rejected, but it was found that a return to Sri Lanka could lead to a strengthening of suicidal thoughts. Preventing their deportation through the ECHR can be seen as a success in protecting the rights of asylum seekers suffering from mental illnesses.

                Related links

                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.

                Related links

                  Family
                  2014
                  UK

                  Doctors must involve families in ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ notices for patients

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A 'Do Not Resuscitate' Notice was put in the Mrs Tracey's medical notes without consulting her or her family. The doctors' failure to consult breached her right to personal autonomy and to respect for private and family life.

                  Related links

                  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.

                  Related links

                    TOP 50
                    Justice
                    2004
                    UK

                    You can’t detain foreigners without charge forever

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    After 9/11, the government started imprisoning suspected terrorists indefinitely without a criminal charge or conviction. This breached the right to liberty. We ended this practice of detention without trial.

                    Related links

                    Disability
                    2012
                    UK

                    The police mustn’t use excessive force when restraining disabled people

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    A severely autistic man was restrained by police. The conduct of the police had violated the prohibition against torture, his rights to liberty and security, respect for his private and family life, and disability discrimination laws.

                    Related links

                    Speech & Protest
                    2005
                    Europe

                    Excessive McDonalds libel damages breached free speech rights

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    Members of a campaign group were sued for libel by McDonald's. The group had to pay excessive damages to McDonald's. They successfully challenged the decision - their right to freedom of expression was violated.

                    Related links

                    Help us increase understanding and support for human rights in the UK.

                    Donate

                    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,

                    Design by: Information is Beautiful Studio

                    Site implementation by: Hikkendry

                    We welcome suggestions and comments - please email charlotte@rightsinfo.org

                    Creative Commons Licence

                    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

                    What Human Rights Do For Us
                    Share this: