It was a major achievement by the United Nations and a move which later inspired the Council of Europe to set up the European Convention on Human Rights in 1951 - which ultimately led to the Human Rights Act 1998 which enshrined the convention’s principles in British law.
years down the line, celebrations around the world today will serve as a
reminder of how important and relevant these rights remain.
there are threats to the HRA. At the Conservative party conference in October
there was talk of their next election manifesto including proposals to withdraw
from the European Convention. In the light of bad press and bad politics, it can
be easy to overlook how much good the HRA does. Indeed in October, the Home
Secretary admitted that she was only able to end the ten-year anguish of Gary
McKinnon and his family by preventing his extradition to the US
using the Human Rights Act. She concluded that the threat to his health, and in
particular the risk he may take his own life, made his extradition incompatible
with Article 3 - the right not to face torture, inhuman or degrading treatment.
It has also been used to obtain a
fresh inquest into the death of soldier Anne-Marie Ellement; protect the sources
of investigative journalist Suzanne Breen; and keep an elderly couple together.
Rights Day this year prepares to shine a spotlight on the rights of all people –
women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor
and marginalised – and seeks to ensure their voices are heard in public life and
political decision-making, it’s important we remind people that it was
these historic moments, forged decades ago in the wake of terrible atrocities,
that allow us some of the freedoms and rights we enjoy today.
- This year Liberty will be marking Human Rights Day with the re-release of our Common Values in our Classrooms cinema advert featuring actors Riz Ahmed and Simon Callow. The short film demonstrates how human rights are applicable in everyday life and can be seen on selected performances of The Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, Rise of the Guardians or Great Expectations up and down the country until January 3. You can also watch it on our new Common Values page here (www.commonvalues.org.uk)