Call for Human Rights Stories!


Do you feel that human rights and Jewish identity are linked? Has your or your family’s experience made you care about human rights? Have you had to protect yourself or your family using human rights laws? Or are you not sure how human rights affect your life? 

René Cassin and the Board of Deputies want to hear about your experience with human rights. The concept of human rights is inexorably linked with Jewish experience and values. Today, many Jewish people are proud human rights supporters and many more rely on human rights laws in their everyday lives.

For example:

The right to life - A Jewish father became an advocate for refugees after learning how strangers saved his family from the Nazis when they were refugees

The right to freedom from persecution - An Egyptian Jew inspired by her family’s struggle for religious freedom became a professor of human rights and anti-discrimination law

The right to family life - An elderly couple used UK human rights laws to avoid being placed in separate care homes

The right to dignity - The family of a suicide victim force the police to return his final note using UK human rights laws

We want you to share your story - email us at


Urging Israel to Engage with the UN Human Rights Council

René Cassin encouraged Israel to engage with the UN and take its place at the diplomatic table, by participating in the Universal Periodic Review.  

The Universal Periodic Review is the international “human rights report card” which every country in the world participates in every four years.  Israel was threatening to boycott this process to protest the Human Rights Council’s disproportionate focus on its record.  Israel's must continue to engage with the international human rights community; in fact, its legitimacy depends on it.  As such, we urged Israel, through correspondence with the Israeli ambassador to the UN in Geneva and the Israeli embassy in London, to participate in the UPR Process. We applaud  Israel’s decision to reengage with the Human Rights Council and the UPR process.


Bringing Discrimination Against Ethnic Minorities to the UN Commission for Social Development

René Cassin made a statement to the 2014 United Nations Commission for Social Development on "Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all". In the statement we addressed the effect of discrimination on empowerment on these communities, and considered the link between the persistent direct and indirect discrimination faced by Europe’s Roma, Gypsy and Traveller in the areas of poverty eradication and social integration, and discrimination in education, the ability to own and use real property, and healthcare. Only when existing laws and policies are amended to eliminate the explicit and tacit evidence of racism against this group will empowerment be possible.


René Cassin Gives a Grade on UK's Human Rights Report Card

René Cassin made a stakeholder submission to the Ministry of Justice regarding the UK’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mid-term Report. This was made to assist the UN in assessing the UK’s human rights performance. 

In our submission, we emphasised concerns and urged the Government to prioritise issues of specific importance to our organisation in light of our unique mission. We called upon the UK Government to commit to preserving the Human Rights Act and to build upon it in any efforts to develop the existing framework for human rights protection in the UK. We also championed issues relating to: human trafficking and modern slavery; Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers; asylum seekers and migrants; proposals to further restrict Legal Aid; abuses in paediatric medical care; and intersex legal discrimination. Learn more about the UPR and read René Cassin's submission to the Human Rights Council.


Trafficked Women Find Solace in Photography

Voice of Freedom, a photography project that works with formerly trafficked women in Israel to bring their voices and stories to the world, launched in Petach Tikvah this autumn. The initial three-week long workshop allowed trafficking victims from Eritrea and Ethiopia to develop their skills and creativity in a safe, fun environment helping them to find solace and learn advocacy skills. Their work will be exhibited in London next year, so watch this space!