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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Children
2014
UK

Keeping children with family should be considered before adoption

Related European Convention Articles

A child was placed for adoption without proper consideration of whether a placement in Poland with her grandparents would have been preferable. This breached the family's right to respect for private / family life.

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Justice
2013
UK

A criminal defendant had to take her veil off to give evidence in court

Related European Convention Articles

A female defendant in a criminal case did not want to take off her face veil in front of men who were not in her family. The judge ruled she must take it off to give evidence and be identified.

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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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Religion & Belief
2007
UK

Schools can restrict certain types of religious dress

Related European Convention Articles

A school refused to allow a student to wear a jilbab at school. The school successfully argued that in the circumstances, the restriction was lawful, and therefore did not breach the student's right to demonstrate her religious belief or stop her accessing education.

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Disability
2012
UK

Detaining immigrants with mental health problems can be degrading treatment

Related European Convention Articles

A man with a mental health disorder was detained in immigration removal centres for months, despite worsening mental health problems. The delay in getting him to a hospital was unlawful, and constituted degrading treatment.

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Privacy
2011
UK

A culture of illegal phone hacking killed the News of the World

Related European Convention Articles

The tabloid newspaper was exposed as using illegal phone hacking to steal private information. This was possible thanks to the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act (see Halford v United Kingdom) and ultimately led to the demise of newpaper.

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Speech & Protest
2009
Europe

Journalists can refuse to reveal their confidential sources

Related European Convention Articles

The FT was ordered to disclose documents identifying confidential journalistic sources to a brewing company. The sources had leaked information about a takeover bid. The FT refused to release the documents, and won their case – their right to freedom of expression was breached.

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    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.

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    TOP 50
    50 Cases
    2001
    UK

    We’ve a right to private legal correspondence, even in jail

    Related European Convention Articles

    Prisoners have a right to private correspondence with their lawyers. Prison officers were reading prisoners' letters before them and without them being present. This breached their human right to privacy.

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      Rights at Work
      2014
      UK

      Employers can’t take away wages without good reason

      Related European Convention Articles

      Four years worth of an employee's wages were confiscated by his employer after it was found out that he had got the job using a false passport. He won his case - his right to property had been breached.

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        Family
        2002
        Europe

        Adults can access records of time spent in care as child

        Related European Convention Articles

        A man wanted access to personal records of his time spent his care. He suspected the authority knew he was at risk of sexual abuse. The authority refused. He won his case.

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          Victims of Crime
          2014
          UK

          The state must protect victims of grooming and child abuse

          Related European Convention Articles

          An independent inquiry was commissioned into the history of sexual violence towards young women in Rotherham. The European Convention requires independent investigations into abuse.

          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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          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.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2001
          Europe

          Local authorities can be liable for child abuse if they failed to act

          Related European Convention Articles

          Four children were seriously ill-treated by their parents. The authorities were aware of this and failed to take action. The children's rights to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment had been breached and they were entitled to compensation.

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            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.

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              Speech & Protest
              2002
              UK

              Freedom of expression can be restricted for the sake of national security

              Related European Convention Articles

              A former intelligence officer was prosecuted for leaking secret documents to the press. He argued that the disclosure was in the public interest. However, the court decided that freedom of expression can be restricted on the grounds of national security.

              Related links

              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.

              Related links

                Disability
                2014
                Europe

                The withdrawal of night-time care breached Mrs McDonald’s human rights

                Related European Convention Articles

                A woman with severely limited mobility complained that the withdrawal of night-time care breached with her right to respect for her private life. For a limited period, her right to respect for her private and family life was breached.

                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

                TOP 50
                50 Cases
                2006
                UK

                Police shouldn’t have stopped war protest bus

                Related European Convention Articles

                The police stopped coach passengers from reaching the site of an anti-Iraq War demonstration. The protesters' right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly was violated. Police shouldn't have assumed they would be violent.

                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

                  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.

                  Related links

                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  2013
                  Europe

                  Employers must respect religious beliefs

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Mrs Eweida, a British Airways employee, was prevented from wearing a visible Christian cross with her uniform. She won her case - her right to religious freedom had been violated. BA changed its policy.

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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,

                  Design by: Information is Beautiful Studio

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

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                  What Human Rights Do For Us
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