Thursday, 30 June 2022
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Thursday, 30 June 2022

Advocacy charity warns against human rights complacency

ADVOCACY charity, POhWER, is encouraging as many people as possible to take part in the Government’s new consultation on human rights. And the charity’s Chief Executive, Helen Moulinos, is urging against complacency regarding the latest Government announcements, pointing out that a ‘dilution of rights for one group of people quickly becomes a dilution of rights for us all’.

It follows the Government publishing its plans to reform the Human Rights Act (HRA), in which there are four proposed changes – fewer than had originally been expected and the proposals are not as wide-reaching as many charities and campaigners had originally feared – but POhWER points out that the consultation is still hugely important and shouldn’t be ignored. 

In fact, the results of its own human rights survey released show the difference that human rights laws can make to the people who need them most.

In its survey, the charity asked its beneficiaries about the different human rights laws made to their own lives. 352 beneficiaries responded anonymously, and the results clearly show how human rights become very real when you are struggling to get the help you need.

An overwhelming majority of respondents (75.29%) said that they felt familiar with the Human Rights Act, and a huge 91.67% disagreed with the statement that ‘human rights breaches do not occur in the UK’.

Other findings include:

  • A huge 61.96% of people felt as though they weren’t treated fairly in society
  • Over one-third of respondents said that they had experienced barriers in accessing their human rights
  • Just under two-thirds of respondents felt that their public services didn’t appear to have human rights protections in place

Commenting on the survey findings, Chief Executive of POhWER, Helen Moulinos, said:

“We know through the work that we do day in, day out, that society is often not fair, nor does it necessarily treat everyone as equal. That’s why this anonymous survey was so important to do right now – not only to show a snapshot at this point in time but also to understand and test the extent of how existing human rights and entitlements are written into our laws and public services were understood and perceived by our beneficiaries. 

“A huge 75% of beneficiaries felt that they had an in-depth familiarity with the Human Rights Act and Equality Act, 70% felt as though they were familiar with the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act and a lower – but still impressive – 63% felt familiar with the Care Act.

“What our survey shows is that it is often the most marginalised people in our communities who need to know the names and the value of the policies that are in place to protect them.

“So, we’re asking everyone – especially those who have been fortunate enough not to experience a breach of their human rights – to realise the difference they make to others’ lives, and take part in the Government consultation process.” 

To take part in the Government’s consultation on the Reform of the Human Rights Act, follow this link and respond through filling out the online survey or filling out the document and responding by post.

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