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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TOP 50
Speech & Protest
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.

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TOP 50
Speech & Protest
1979
Europe

Newspapers have freedom to report legal cases if in the public interest

Related European Convention Articles

During a legal case about the Thalidomide disaster, the High Court stopped a newspaper from publishing articles in support of the victims. This violated their right to freedom of expression. The significant public interest in the matter outweighed the need to uphold an injunction.

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    Rights at Work
    2012
    UK

    Your right to join or form a Trade Union is protected

    Related European Convention Articles

    Boots blocked recognition of an independent pharmacist Trade Union. The independent union won their case - the right to collective bargaining through trade unions to protect the interests of employees had been breached.

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    Children
    2010
    UK

    Children can access a summary of secret evidence about them

    Related European Convention Articles

    The police arrested a child spotted with an 'inappropriate adult'. They would not tell the child or parents more. Access to secret evidence was needed to enforce rights to liberty and privacy. A court provided the gist of the information.

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    Victims of Crime
    2013
    UK

    Families of soldiers killed in combat can sue the government

    Related European Convention Articles

    Families of soldiers killed in combat in Iraq are suing the government because they believe their sons were not given adequate training or equipment. They have been allowed to pursue their claim.

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    Children
    2012
    UK

    Unaccompanied minors claiming asylum must be properly cared for

    Related European Convention Articles

    The eight appellants had arrived from Afghanistan as unaccompanied minors and were at that time aged between 15 and 16. The Home Office refused their asylum claims but granted each of them Discretionary Leave until they reached 17½, but it was found that the duty to the minors goes further than this in order to protect the minor’s best interests.

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    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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      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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      Disability
      2015
      UK

      A family can receive damages if a council messes up care proceedings

      Related European Convention Articles

      The Council removed a 15 day old baby from its mother and put it into care. There were unnecessary delays and confusion over the plan for the baby's permanent home. It was finally placed with the mother's parents in Latvia aged 22 months.

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      Disability
      2009
      UK

      There’s protection for vulnerable adults mistreated in hospitals

      Related European Convention Articles

      A patient with cerebral palsy was forbidden from eating and was fed through a tube in his stomach, against his wishes. A campaign group used human rights to persuade a hospital panel to agree to his wishes.

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      Equality
      1997
      Europe

      The age of consent is equal for all

      Related European Convention Articles

      The UK had an higher age of consent for homosexuals. The European Court said this discriminated against Mr Surtherland and violated his right to privacy. The UK government then committed to equalise the age of consent, which it did in 2000.

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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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        50 Cases
        2014
        UK

        The UK could forcibly remove people from their homeland

        Related European Convention Articles

        The UK's highest court narrowly ruled the UK could forcibly remove inhabitants from the Chagos Islands so they could be used as a military base, and this decision wasn't overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. The Wikileaks scandal gave rise to more Information about the case, and another appeal was mounted, but it was again dismissed.

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        Family
        2003
        UK

        Deceased fathers can be named on birth certificate

        Related European Convention Articles

        A widow won the right to put the name of her deceased husband on the birth certificates of her children. The law was changed to allow all women to do the same.

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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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          Seeking Refuge
          2014
          UK

          Asylum seekers are protected from homelesness and destitution

          Related European Convention Articles

          EM was an Eritrean man who experienced persecution in his home country for being a Christian, and moved to Italy, only to find himself homeless and destitute. He sought asylum in the UK, and resisted deportation. The court found if it could be established similar conditions would be present if he were deported to Italy, this would be contrary to his right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment.

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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.

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          Equality
          2013
          UK

          You can’t refuse a couple a double bed because they’re gay

          Related European Convention Articles

          Christian bed and breakfast hotel owners refused a double-bedded room to a same sex couple becasue they weren't married. Gay people couldn't get married. The Supreme Court said this was discrimination.

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          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.

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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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          Children
          2010-12
          UK

          Systemic failings in child protection must be addressed

          Related European Convention Articles

          After the 'Baby P Scandal', in which one-year-old Peter Connolly was killed by his abusive parents, the Government commissioned an independent review of child protection and social work. Human rights law requires effective investigations into deaths and inhumane treatment.

          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.

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            Disability
            2005
            Europe

            Detention for mental health patients must be reviewed quickly

            Related European Convention Articles

            A woman was detained in hospital for over a year after the Mental Health Review Tribunal directed her conditional release. Her right to liberty entitled her to have the lawfulness of that detention determined by a court promptly.

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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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              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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