Cloverleaf Advocacy joins over 150 groups to take a stand for our human rights on Global Human Rights Day.
On global Human Rights Day, as the Prime Minister attends the international Summit for Democracy, over 150 groups across the UK urge the Prime Minister to take action to secure our Human Rights Act
As the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, attends President Biden’s Summit for Democracy, over 150 groups have issued an open letter challenging him to secure our Human Rights Act and safeguard human rights and democratic accountability here at home.
The organisations include those working with children, carers, people with learning disabilities and mental ill-health, women experiencing violence, migrants, older people, and groups campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights, fair trials, access to justice, decent housing and against racial discrimination and to increase the UK’s democratic accountability.
The loud calls to tamper with our Human Rights Act, often by those in government with the responsibility to uphold our protections, does little to reassure civil society groups and the many people we each support and represent. In our varied work up and down the country, we see the everyday ways our Human Rights Act helps people to live more dignified and equal lives; ordinary people whose voices are too often unheard by those with power.
We at Cloverleaf see examples of this on an almost daily basis whilst helping those most vulnerable in society to ensure that they are treated with dignity and that their voices are heard by professionals in the health and social care sectors. The people that we help are often dismissed on the grounds of their health, mental capacity or disabilities and their human rights are all too frequently overlooked or ignored. We believe that every individual should be an equal member of society: everyone has the right to plan their own life, to be listened to, taken seriously and to be respected.
This atmosphere of hostility towards human rights and legal accountability in the UK cannot continue. Together, we are calling on the Prime Minister, and leaders of all political parties, to “move from the romanticisation of being human rights pioneers in 1948 and commit to our Human Rights Act protections being a part of everyone’s life, every day, today and tomorrow.”
Suzi Henderson, CEO of Cloverleaf Advocacy commented: “The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on advocacy services, and wherever possible we have reached far and beyond our duties to ensure that the people who most need our help have been able to access our support.
“Sadly, we have and continue to witness a rise in instances of abuse of people’s human rights – often under the thinly veiled excuse of the pandemic – and this must end. Those of us who work with the most vulnerable in our society want to see action to match the words we hear from our leaders and to witness real change that is driven from the top. Words are not enough.”
Sanchita Hosali, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, the organisation coordinating the letter, said:
“As the UK enthusiastically participates in President Biden’s Summit for Democracy, it is time for our Prime Minister to also turn the lens inwards. The hostile environment towards human rights and accountability cannot continue; if we are a nation that values democracy, we must also value the checks on power.”
“At BIHR whether we are working with doctors and nurses, children and parents, teachers or prison officers, women surviving abuse, people with learning disabilities and many others; what we see every single day is the real value and meaning of our Human Rights Act for people across the UK.”
“Rather than hyperbole and rhetoric bordering on dog whistle politicking, we need a government that is willing to stand up for Our Human Rights Act, our way to hold them to account. As we all work hard to mitigate the impact of the pandemic – a crisis in which our Human Rights Act has provided vital protections – we stand with over 150 other organisations calling for a world in which our political leaders move from the romanticisation of being human rights pioneers in 1948 and commit to our rights being a part of everyone’s life, every day, today and tomorrow. It is a challenge we urge Mr Johnson to take on.”
View the open letter and its signatories below:
- A video of the full Human Rights Day letter being readout is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/lNaZoHpgVXE
A video of the Easy Read version of the Human Rights Day letter, produced with some of the fantastic signatories, is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/RJ5bFulHn1Q
For further information on the campaign and how you can get involved, please visit https://www.bihr.org.uk/human-rights-day-2021/