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Global Human Rights Day 2023

On Global Human Rights Day, Jamie Beagent who jointly leads the human rights team at Leigh Day, considers the passing of another year which has seen the rights and dignity of individuals, both at home and abroad, continue to face attack from powerful governments and groups.

Posted on 10 December 2023

From the atrocities in Israel and Gaza, through the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the continuing success of populist and authoritarian governments, it can feel like a never-ending battle just to sustain our hard-won rights and freedoms.

In the UK we have seen the success of the campaign to secure the Human Rights Act (for the time being at least) tempered by continuing government attacks on refugees and asylum seekers with its continued pursuit of the ‘Rwanda policy’, holding migrants on barges at sea and threats to pull out of International legal agreements protecting the rights of individuals.

Published on 10 December, global Human Rights Day, an open letter celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights while at the same time calling on the Prime Minister to resist the sustained attacks on universal human rights here at home and on all political leaders to reaffirm the commitment to universal human rights for all people, through both words and actions.

The open letter is co-ordinated by the British Institute of Human Rights.

Human Rights Day quote

We are proud to put our name to this open letter to the Prime Minister. In particular we would urge him to stand up to the powerful lobby in his own party calling for the UK to break its commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Refugee Convention and other international law instruments to which it is signatory.

Human Rights Day easy readIt can feel daunting to be up against such powerful voices and interests. But Leigh Day’s Human Rights team will continue to fight for the rights of its clients in the context of the body of international and domestic law which has been established over the course of history. On this Human Rights Day we would like in particular to acknowledge and thank our clients for the bravery and persistence that they have shown in standing up for their rights and the rights of others.

Global Human Rights Day marks the day in 1948 when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) following WW2. In the preamble to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 1950, the Council of Europe reaffirms the UHDR aim of securing universal and effective observance of human rights. The UK’s Human Rights Act 1998 creates legal duties that bring these Convention rights into UK law. 2023 is the 70th anniversary year of the ECHR.

Read the letter here.

Easyreader version here

Human Rights Day signatories

Jamie Beagent
Environment Human rights Judicial review Planning

Jamie Beagent

Joint head of the human rights department specialising in judicial review and public law.

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