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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Family
2009
UK

There’s a right to information about your own adoption

Related European Convention Articles

An adult was seeking information about his adoption in the 1950s. Both his birth parents had died. The adoption society refused to give him the information. He challenged the refusal and won his case.

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Children
2001
UK

Families who foster children should be paid the same as other carers

Related European Convention Articles

A family who were fostering children within the family successfully challenged the council policy to pay them less than non-family foster carers.

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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.

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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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    Victims of Crime
    2002
    Europe

    Inquiries into state deaths should usually be in public

    Related European Convention Articles

    A mentally ill prisoner was murdered by another mentally ill prisoner. The government conducted a private inquiry. The parents successfully argued it should have been public.

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    TOP 50
    50 Cases
    1989
    Europe

    Risk of inhuman death row conditions stopped this man’s extradition

    Related European Convention Articles

    A German man faced extradition to the US on charges of murder, an offence that potentially carries the death penalty.The risk of the inhuman conditions of death row stopped his extradition.

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      Equality
      2012
      Europe

      Gypsy families must have stronger rights to challenge eviction

      Related European Convention Articles

      Mrs Buckland was evicted from her caravan site following anti-social behaviour by her son and non-payment of bills by herself. She complained that had not had the chance to appeal against her conviction. She won her case.

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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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      Children
      2014
      UK

      Men suspected of grooming were banned from contacting girls

      Related European Convention Articles

      Ten men were suspected of exploiting a young woman for sex. There was not enough evidence to prosecute them. They were banned from contacting the young woman.

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      TOP 50
      50 Cases
      2004
      Europe

      Mental health detention needs proper safeguards

      Related European Convention Articles

      A man was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He was was there informally, so wasn't protected by legal safeguards. This meant it was difficult for his family to get him home. This violated his right to liberty. The UK government responded by plugging the gap with a new law.

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        TOP 50
        50 Cases
        2008
        Europe

        Government spying powers are too wide

        Related European Convention Articles

        The European Court said the government's powers to spy were too wide and opaque. Liberty and other civil liberties organisations accused the Ministry of Defence of spying on their phonecalls and emails. This is one of a series of cases challenged the UK to greater openness about surveillance.

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        Equality
        2004
        Europe

        Gypsies have same right to keep their homes as caravan owners

        Related European Convention Articles

        The Council wanted to evict a gypsy family because of anti-social behaviour. The family won its case and were allowed to stay. The government changed the law shortly afterwards to protect gypsies from eviction.

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        Health
        2015
        UK

        DNA collected for criminal investigation can’t be used for unrelated purposes

        Related European Convention Articles

        DNA had been lawfully collected from X's house during the investigation of a murder for which X was later convicted. A local authority wanted to use the DNA to resolve a paternity claim. A court found that was a breach of X's right to privacy.

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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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          Privacy
          2001
          Europe

          Public activities may be protected by privacy

          Related European Convention Articles

          The European Court of Human Rights condemned the unlawful recording of two suspected criminals at their house and at the police station and said in principle a person's activities may be part of their private life even if they take place in a public context.

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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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            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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            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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            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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              Privacy
              2014
              UK

              Private information can’t be misused by organisations

              Related European Convention Articles

              A group of UK Google users sued Google for the unlawful tracking and collection of their private information. The judge allowed the case to proceed and acknowledged that misuse of private information could result in a damages claim.

              Related links

              Family
              2008
              UK

              Children and mums must be kept together when fleeing domestic violence

              Related European Convention Articles

              Mother and children were fleeing domestic violence and ended up in London. Social workers said they were intentionally homeless and would take children into care. Right to a family life used to keep family together.

              Seeking Refuge
              2011
              Europe

              Sending people back to armed conflict & chaotic violence isn’t OK

              Related European Convention Articles

              A key question in refugee cases is whether a person is at a "real risk" of inhuman treatment. In this case, Somalia was said to be a failed state meaning it was unlikely people would be sent back there.

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              Children
              2012
              UK

              Children’s identities are usually kept secret in personal injury cases

              Related European Convention Articles

              A child was involved in a personal injury case. The child's identity was kept a secret, to ensure her compensation was protected from those who might misuse the funds. Publication would breach her right to privacy / family life.

              Related links

              Disability
              1975
              UK

              Sterilisation is considered the deprivation of a basic human right

              Related European Convention Articles

              This case was about the wardship of an 11 year old girl with mental health problems. The court said sterilisation was the deprivation of a basic human right and it would, if for non-therapeutic reasons without consent, be a violation of that right.

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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

              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
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