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Equality and Human Rights Commission


									                       Delivery notes

• These slides contain all the information you need to deliver this
• However, you may remove some of the detail or slides to make them
  appropriate and engaging for your trainees, length of lecture and to
  suit your lecture style.
• You will need to have the following videos available to play at points
  highlighted in the slides:
Equal Rights, Equal Respect

    Citizenship studies
    Understanding human rights
            Objectives for session one

By the end of today, you should:
• Understand what human rights are.

• Know where human rights have come from.

• Understand the different types of human rights laws and how they
  work in practice.

• Appreciate the relevance of human rights to young people’s lives.
What are human rights?
What are human rights?

 Play part 1 of the training video which shows experts explaining
  what human rights are:
           Human rights – key points

• Human rights are UNIVERSAL – they belong
  to everybody in the world.

• Human rights are INALIENABLE – they
  cannot be taken away from people.

• Human rights are INDIVISIBLE and
  INTERDEPENDENT – all the different human
  rights are important for human beings to
  flourish and participate in society.
            Human rights – key points

• Human rights are underpinned by a set of common values:
   – Fairness
   – Respect
   – Equality
   – Dignity
   – Autonomy
             Human rights – key points

• Human rights regulate the relationship between the state
  (including public authorities and public bodies, like schools and the
  police) and the individual.

• Individuals are the ‘rights bearers’.

• The state is responsible for respecting, protecting and fulfilling
  every individuals’ human rights.
Where do human rights come from?

 Play part 1 of the training video to show experts explaining the
  history of human rights:
         Different types of legal instruments
International                   Regional                       Domestic
United Nations Convention       European Convention on         Human Rights Act 1998
on the Rights of the Child      Human Rights

Enforced by the United          Enforced by the European       Enforced by courts in the
Nations.                        Court of Human Rights, in      UK.
                                Strasbourg, France.
Countries that sign up to the   Anyone who thinks their        Anyone who thinks their
law have to submit regular      rights have been breached      rights have been breached
reports to the UN to show       can complain to the            can complain to a UK court,
what they are doing to          European Court of Human        rather than going to France!
protect the rights in the       Rights. UK complainants
convention.                     must have exhausted all
However, you can’t take a       legal remedies before it can
case to a UK court if you       be taken to the European
think your rights are being     Court of Human Rights in
denied.                         France.
        Human rights legal instruments

• The UK has signed up to the following international conventions:
   – The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
   – The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
   – The United Nations (UN) Convention Against Torture
   – The UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against
   – The UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
   – The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
   – The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
              Human Rights Act 1998

• The UK’s Human Rights Act 1998 came into
  force in 2000.
• This made most of the rights in the ECHR
  part of UK law.
• The law also aimed to bring about a new
  culture of respect for human rights in the
  UK, placing human rights at the heart of
  public service delivery.
                   Human Rights Act 1998

 Right to life (Article 2)                 Freedom of expression (Article 10)
 Prohibition of torture (Article 3)        Freedom of assembly and association
 Prohibition of slavery and forced          (Article 11)
  labour (Article 4)                        Right to marry (Article 12)
 Right to liberty and security (Article    Prohibition of discrimination (Article
  5)                                         14)
 Right to a fair trial (Article 6)         Protection of property (Article 1 of
 No punishment without law (Article         Protocol 1)
  7)                                        Right to education (Article 2 of
 Right to respect for private and           Protocol 1)
  family life (Article 8)                   Right to free elections (Article 3 of
 Freedom of thought, conscience and         Protocol 1)
  religion (Article 9)                      Abolition of the death penalty (Article 1
                                             of Protocol 6)
      Myth busting the laws

Human rights laws stop people from taking photos
in public parks.

Daily Mail – August 2010

• There is nothing in human rights law that prevents someone taking
  photographs of flowers in a public place for their own use.
• If the photographer intended to use the photographs commercially
  then they might need the permission of the parks owners, but that
  has nothing to do with human rights law - rather to do with
  commercial interests.
• A person’s right to respect for private and family life might only
  apply if a photographer was intrusive in taking photographs of an
  individual without their consent e.g. Chasing a celebrity to get a
  picture of their child.
  Myth busting the laws

Human Rights Act 1998 gives
students a right to junk food.

Daily Mail (Scotland)

• This myth comes from the school initiative to promote healthy
• The news report suggested that the Human Rights Act 1998 will
  cause the initiative to fail, as forcing them to eat healthy food or
  denying them junk food is against their rights.
• Schools have a legal responsibility for their pupils during school
  hours and this may prevent them from leaving the school premises
  and from purchasing their own less healthy food nearby.
• The school would only be breaching human rights if they locked
  pupils in the school or physically forced them to eat healthy school
  meals. This is not the case as students have the option of bringing
  their own packed lunch.
Myth busting the laws

The Human Rights Act 1998 means
that terrorists can stay in Britain.

Telegraph – May, 2010

• Human rights do protect all individuals from torture, and if the
  Government knows that individuals may face torture or death in their
  own home countries, they have an obligation to not return them to
  their country of origin.
• However, the same decision would apply regardless of whether the
  Human Rights Act 1998 existed, as the UK has signed up to
  numerous international treaties which prevent this, for example:
   – The European Convention on Human Rights does not allow
      people to be returned to situations where there is a real risk of
      harm as this would breach their rights, including their right to life
      and liberty.
   – The United Nations Refugee Convention does not allow
      refugees to be returned to any area where their life or freedom is
 Myth busting the laws

Finger-nickin’ good. Police gave the
suspected car thief a meal because of his
Human Rights
The Sun - 7 June 2006

• The Human Rights Act 1998 does not give any prisoner making a
  rooftop (or any other) protest the right to the meal of his / her choice.
• The police responded to his food demands in this case as part of
  their negotiating strategy.
Are human rights all equal?

 Play part 1 of the training video to show experts explaining the
  different types of human rights:
                 Types of human rights

• There are three main types of rights:
1. Absolute rights cannot be interfered with or limited in any way.
   Examples of absolute rights are the right not to be tortured or
   treated in an inhuman or degrading way and the right not to be

2. Limited rights can be limited in specific circumstances. An
   example of a limited right is the right to liberty, which can be limited,
   for example, where someone has been convicted of a crime by a
   court or is being detained because of mental health problems.
               Balancing human rights

3. Qualified rights can be interfered with in order to protect the rights
   of other individuals or the public interest. The majority of rights in
   the Human Rights Act 1998 are qualified rights.
   An example of a qualified right is the right to freedom of expression.
   For example, if a student was inciting racial hatred, their right to
   expression should be restricted.
              Balancing human rights

• In some occasions human rights need to be limited by Government
  or public bodies:

When two people’s rights conflict and one negatively impacts on
o For example, a Muslim student asks if they can hold a debate about
  Islamic Fundamentalism.
o If extreme views are presented during the debate, one student’s
  freedom of expression (Article 10, European Convention on Human
  Rights) could conflict with other students’ freedom of thought,
  conscience and religion (Article 9, European Convention on Human
  Rights) and there could be a risk of disorder.
               Balancing human rights

o The school could allow the student to hold the debate but could limit
  their right to express their views and opinions by stating that they
  are not allowed to criticise homosexuality, make sexist comments or
  take a negative line towards other religions / beliefs.
               Balancing human rights

When one person is negatively affecting the interests and rights of
wider society (or school)
   – For example, student hides a knife in their bag – the student has
      the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8) but this
      right can be limited in the interests of the prevention of crime, for
      the protection of health or the rights and freedoms of others.
   – So in this instance, the student’s right would need to be limited
      by the school so their bag could be searched.
United Nations Convention on the Rights
         of the Child (UNCRC)
• Children are entitled to all human rights,
  but have their own special set called the
• The UK Government ratified the UNCRC
  in 1991.
• The Convention includes 54 articles,
  such as the right to play and the right to
  express their views on any matter that
  affects them.
•   Whilst the UNCRC is not part of the UK’s domestic law, every five
    years there is a reporting process where the Government has to
    say what it is doing to protect the rights in the Convention.
What is the relevance of human rights to young
people’s lives?

 Play part 1 of the training video to show an expert explaining the
  What’s the relevance to young people’s
• Many people think human rights are
  international and remote concepts. But
  they are connected to our everyday lives,
  so they should be brought close to home to
  have meaning for students.
• Human rights help to ensure that all
  children have access to education, that
  they can express their own views and
  freely practice a religion of their choosing,
  that they are protected from harm, that they
  aren’t forced to work and much more.
          Benefiting young people’s lives

Here are just a few examples of how the Human Rights Act 1998 has
benefited the lives of young people:
January 2010 - European Court of Human Rights says that police blanket
stop and search powers, introduced under counter-terrorism legislation, are
unlawful. Between 2007 and 2009, nearly 310,000 children aged 10 to 17
were stopped and searched by the police; 40% of these were Black children.

July 2008 - Court of Appeal upholds the human rights of children in secure
training centres (institutions where children aged 12-16 are placed in custody
for serious criminal offences) by quashing restraint rules introduced by
Ministers the previous summer. The rules were rushed in following the
damning inquest into the death of a child following restraint. Instead of
increasing child protection in secure training centres, Ministers had given staff
extra restraint powers.
          Benefiting young people’s lives

January 2006 - the High Court says young people can continue to receive
confidential advice and treatment relating to contraception, sexual and
reproductive health, because to stop this would result in more young people
not seeking help, and would be a violation of their right to make decisions (in
accordance with their age and maturity).

May 2005 - the Court of Appeal says that three boys, aged 13, 15 and 17, can
have a lawyer to represent them in a case brought by their separating parents
in dispute about which parent the boys should live with. The boys argued
successfully that their views should be heard in line with article 12 of the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Who is responsible for human rights?

 Play part 1 of the training video to show an expert explaining who is

• The responsibility for upholding human rights lies with the state.
• Human rights provide minimum standards below which states
  cannot go.
• States have a responsibility to ensure that everyone’s rights are
  protected and fulfilled.
• It is important that individuals recognise that every other individual
  has human rights.
• But, if someone does not allow another person to exercise their
  human rights, they do not forfeit their own rights.
• Under human rights laws, an individual cannot take another
  individual or private company to court for abusing their human
   So why are human rights still denied?

• The fact that we have human rights does not mean that human
  rights are sometimes denied.
• Sadly, human rights abuses continue to occur all over the world,
  including in the UK.

                   ‘Education system failing children with special needs’
   So why are human rights still denied?

• To protect people’s human rights, the Government and public bodies
  MUST know what their responsibilities are and uphold them.
• Individuals need to be aware of their rights and know how to claim

• Rights are complex in their
  nature, they can conflict and
  people may not agree with all the
• But, they provide a framework
  that can encourage young
  people to engage and participate
  in our democratic society and to
  discuss and debate decisions
  that are made by public bodies
  about their lives.
• By discussing topical issues, it helps young people to make sense of
  the world around them and to develop their own values and ideas.
To think about...
                     To think about

• What are the opportunities for teachers?
• What are the challenges for teachers?
• What methods could you use to teach human rights?
Useful information
                      Useful reading

• Equal Rights, Equal Respect on the Equality and Human Rights
  Commission website provide lots more information, including free
  online training and resources:

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