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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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
    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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      Privacy
      2013
      Europe

      UK may develop a law against secret filming and photography

      Related European Convention Articles

      The European Court of Human Rights decided that Sweden’s lack of a legal ban on secret filming and photography violated the right to privacy. The judgement may have significant consequences in the UK too: paparazzi beware!

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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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      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.

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      TOP 50
      Equality
      2005
      UK

      Racial discrimination is unacceptable at all stages of immigration process

      Related European Convention Articles

      British immigration officers at Prague Airport were told to make it more difficult for Roma people to enter. 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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      Rights at Work
      2002
      Europe

      Employers can’t bribe you into giving up your right to join a trade union

      Related European Convention Articles

      Employees of a publishing company were told that they had to either sign a contract giving up important trade union rights or else get paid less. They won their case as their right to freely join a trade union had been breached.

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      Seeking Refuge
      2008
      Europe

      Asylum seekers are offered protection from complex, evolving conflicts

      Related European Convention Articles

      The case illustrates the complexities of assessing what a ‘real risk’ entails, as the court had to consider the evolving political situation in Sri Lanka, taking into account many reports from government and NGO sources. In the conclusion, however, it found that forcing NA to return to his homeland, would at that time, be in violation of the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, and NA was protected from potential harms.

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      Seeking Refuge
      2006
      UK

      FGM is recognised as torture

      Related European Convention Articles

      A woman from Sierra Leone was part of a social group at risk of female genital mutilation. If she returned, should was at risk of excruciating pain and death. As a result of this case, women at risk of FGM are far more likely to receive asylum.

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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
        2015
        UK

        Victims of domestic violence are entitled to police protection

        Related European Convention Articles

        A woman's family claimed against the police because they had not responded to her calls for help when threatened by her extremely violent and threatening ex-boyfriend. He killed her. They won their case.

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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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        Justice
        2013
        UK

        European Union law doesn’t give prisoners the right to vote

        Related European Convention Articles

        Two prisoners claimed that not having a right to vote was in conflict with their rights under European Union law (which is separate from European Convention law). The UK Supreme Court disagreed.

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        Health
        2004
        Europe

        Medical staff can’t ignore parents’ objections to treatment of their children

        Related European Convention Articles

        A mother had fought doctors' decisions to give diamorphine to her critically ill disabled son as it could speed up his death. The Court said the approach of the doctors breached the mother and sons' right to family and private life.

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        Justice
        2012
        Europe

        The UK is not doing enough to combat domestic slavery

        Related European Convention Articles

        A Ugandan woman was forced to work, without breaks or time off, as a live-in carer for an elderly couple. She won her case as the UK had failed to provide proper protection against slavery and forced labour. The European Court criticised the fact that the UK does not have a specific law criminalising domestic slavery and human trafficking. This case led to the Modern Slavery Bill 2014-15.

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        Rights at Work
        2013
        UK

        Clearly false accusations by employers can’t be made public

        Related European Convention Articles

        A Nigerian nurse was accused of mistreating the elderly people in her care. These accusations were made public even though they were false. She won her case as this would make getting another job very difficult.

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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
          2011
          Europe

          Even the Army can’t imprison without charge forever

          Related European Convention Articles

          Mr Al-Jedda was suspected of terrorism. He was detained by British forces in Iraq for over three years without charge or trial. This breached his human rights, even though it happened abroad.

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          Justice
          2012
          UK

          Sole carer mothers in prison should usually get childcare leave

          Related European Convention Articles

          Mothers who are sole carers of their children and are within two years of their release date should sometimes be given child care leave, allowing them to spend up to three days a week with their children. The prison authorities had been acting too inflexibly.

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          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.

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            Victims of Crime
            2001
            Europe

            Victims of inadequate care in custody can get compensation

            Related European Convention Articles

            A man with mental health difficulties committed suicide whilst in custody. His father said the authorities had not done enough to protect his son from himself. He won his case.

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              TOP 50
              50 Cases
              1975
              Europe

              Prisoners must be able to contact their solicitors

              Related European Convention Articles

              A prisoner was stopped from writing a letter to his solicitor. He wanted to make make a libel claim against a prison guard. He won his case. Not being allowed to contact a solicitor was a violation of the right to fair trial.

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                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.

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                Rights at Work
                2010
                UK

                The right to strike is protected

                Related European Convention Articles

                British Airways tried to stop the members of Unite trade union from going on strike. Unite won their case as this infringed the employees right to strike.

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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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