Human Rights

Human rights are the starting point for equality, diversity and anti-discrimination work. Human rights apply to all of us, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status or characteristic.

Human rights are often guaranteed by international and national law. In the UK we have the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights, and makes remedies for breach of a Convention right available in UK courts without the need to go to the European Court of Justice. The Act makes it unlawful for any public body to act in a way which is incompatible with the Convention, unless the wording of any other primary legislation leaves no alternative. It also requires the judiciary to take account of decisions, judgments or opinions of the European Court of Human Rights, and to interpret legislation, as far as possible, in a way which is compatible with Convention rights.

Basic human rights are generally agreed to include the right to:

  • privacy
  • be considered innocent unless proven guilty
  • life
  • fair trial
  • protest peacefully
  • marriage and a family
  • own property
  • vote
  • free speech
  • be a citizen
  • think freely
  • safety from violence
  • sexual orientation
  • health care
  • seek asylum
  • love and be loved
  • choice of spouse
  • believe and practice a religion
  • women’s rights
  • be recognized as a person
  • self expression
  • equality between sexes
  • work

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