16 years of impact

  • 2000
    The Consultative Council of Jewish Organisations (CCJO) takes a group of young professionals to the UN Commission on Human Rights (since reformed as the Human Rights Council) in Geneva. Dismayed by the absence of a Jewish voice on universal human rights, they are inspired to set up René Cassin to raise awareness of human rights and encourage activism within the Jewish community.
  • 2003
    René Cassin hosts a series of public events featuring high-profile speakers such as Dame Ruth Deech, Dr Indarjit Singh and Peter Tatchell, addressing the most important human rights issues of the day.
  • 2005
    We launch an innovative education programme for UK secondary schools on genocide, immigration and childrens’ rights which reaches over 3, 000 Jewish secondary school children.
  • 2006
    As part of a campaign for restitution for victims of genocide, René Cassin representatives negotiate the first-ever reference to group rights in a UN instrument (the Basic Principles on Rights to Victims).
  • 2007
    We launch the Jewish Human Rights Network with the support of the Chief Rabbi and the Attorney General of the United Kingdom.
  • 2008
    We begin our campaign to end modern slavery and trafficking in the UK, which eventually results in legislation to combat this human rights issue.  We produce a Haggadah Companion on slavery and trafficking for the Jewish community.
  • 2009
    We take on attempts to repeal the UK Human Rights Act in Parliament and with the Jewish community, we develop alliances to combat discrimination against Gypsies, Travellers and Roma people in the UK and Europe.
  • 2010
    We travel to Geneva and The Hague with our activists to intervene at high level meetings.  We begin producing a series of resources for lawyers on Asylum and Detention.
  • 2011
    René Cassin is growing!  We hire a new staff member to manage our five campaigns and educational programmes!  We travel to New York for UN meetings and intervene on behalf of Gypsy and Traveller rights.
  • 2012
    We launch the René Cassin Fellowship Programme on Judaism and human rights.  Our first group of Fellows from the US, UK and Israel spend two weeks in Israel  looking at human rights issues on the ground in a complex environment.
  • 2013
    René Cassin leads the Jewish community in the fight against legal aid cuts, takes lawyers to Geneva for the Universal Periodic Review and continues to voice Jewish support for the Human Rights Act.
  • 2014
    René Cassin launches a training programme for faith leaders on combatting endemic discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers; helps launch a Parliamentary Inquiry into immigration detention and speaks out against proposals to withdraw the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • 2015
    René Cassin hosts London premiere of Valley of Sighs, a powerful documentary about a forgotten genocide of Roma by the Nazis; organises major meeting to mark the passing of the Modern Slavery Act; emphasises the links between the Magna Carta (800 years old this year) and the Human Rights Act; builds pressure on the issue of indefinite immigration detention – actions at Harmondsworth Immigration Detention Centre attract coverage in Jewish and national press.
  • 2016
    Former Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve tells Rabbi Julia Neuberger why he fully supports the Human Rights Act at a packed René Cassin meeting; ex-detainees and Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics tell Parliamentarians why they should oppose indefinite immigration detention at an event in the House of Commons; René Cassin produces video testimony of a German Jew interned on the Isle of Man by the British in 1940