Protecting Human Rights in the UK

The UK Human Rights Act (1998) protects the rights of vulnerable people and minorities. But that protection could be seriously limited if the Act is repealed, amended or replaced. Any change to this important law must build on the safeguards already provided – by enshrining additional rights in law, rather than subtracting from them.

The Human Rights Act ensures that all UK public bodies (such as courts, police, local governments, hospitals, publicly funded schools) and other bodies carrying out public functions comply with the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The rights protected by the HRA include:

-the right to life
-freedom from torture and degrading treatment
-freedom from slavery and forced labour
-the right to liberty
-the right to a fair trial
-and many other rights that we take for granted. Importantly, these rights apply to everyone, irrespective of their race, gender, religion or other protected status.

Campaign Updates:

Local Elections 2023: Human Rights Briefing

Local elections are due to be held in England on the 4th May 2023. These will include district councils, unitary authorities and all directly elected mayors. It will also highlight […]

Hands Off our Human Rights Act!

By Debora Singer MBE, René Cassin When Sarah* had to move to a care home, she and her husband Benjamin* were shocked when they were told that he was not […]

Save our Human Rights Act!

URGENT – ask your MP to vote against the so-called Bill of Rights

Human rights under attack: a Rosh Hashanah briefing for the Jewish community

The Human Rights Act is the cornerstone of universal rights in the UK

Hands off our Human Rights Act!

Our submission to the consultation to reform the HRA

2021 – looking back at our year, and forward to the challenges ahead

Lots done in ’21, lots more to do in ’22

Our Human Rights Act under threat – what does this mean to us?

There is no need to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights.

What’s happening to our human rights?

A week of action against the Policing Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill and the review of the Human Rights Act What’s going on? The Government are pushing through a […]

Because of our Human Rights Act …

As the government reviews the Human Rights Act, we will be posting information here on how the Act helps ordinary people in their everyday lives.

Human Rights Act’s “importance to the Jewish community cannot be overstated”

René Cassin’s response to call for evidence by the Independent Human Rights Act Review

London Mayoral Election 2021: Ensuring a human rights agenda

Find out how you can be involved and make your voice heard

“The loss of the Charter will be felt in the years to come”– Our human rights protections after Brexit

Let’s work to hold on to the benefits of Human Rights Act and European Convention

Food, clothing and a home are human rights too

René Cassin statement on Human Rights Day 2020

Campaigns Officers (2 posts)

Join our growing team – apply by Monday 16 November

What has the Human Rights Act got to do with us?

Discover how our human rights safety net helps ordinary people in their everyday lives. Debora Singer MBE is the safeguarding human rights lead at Rene Cassin.  In this 15-minute presentation […]

‘Safeguarding UK’s human rights law – partnership or challenge?’

René Cassin virtual roundtable, 20 May 2020 with Rebecca Hilsenrath, CEO, Equality and Human Rights Commission chaired by Daniel Silverstone (Chair of René Cassin Board of Trustees) An invitation-only roundtable […]

Free workshops – What has the Human Rights Act got to do with us?

Discover how our human rights safety net can help ordinary people in their everyday lives – in our interactive workshop series

Lock-down focuses our human rights glasses

By Student Rabbi Gabriel Kanter-Webber The glasses we usually associate with Pesach contain wine. But I think glasses have another connection with it as well. “During the emergency period, no […]

stay Hopeful, stay Helpful, stay Human

Coronavirus statement from Mia, René Cassin’s Executive Director

The UK’s Human Rights Act (1998) and why it needs protecting

by Debora Singer, Updated April 2020 History of the Human Rights Act In 1948 the United Nations published the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  This was written by our […]

Make Your Vote a Vote for Human Rights

With just over a week left until polling day, we have been thinking about what the future holds for human rights in the UK. We have read through the manifestos […]

Vote for Human Rights!

Key questions to put to anyone asking for your vote on 12 December

The UK and the Rule of Law: a crisis of national identity?

René Cassin roundtable discussion, held under the Chatham House Rule. Thursday 31 October 2019 at Matrix Chambers, London. Keynote speaker Professor Philippe Sands QC.

Why is the Human Rights Act important for disabled people?

By Simone Aspis Increasingly, the government is enacting legislation and policies that have the potential to treat disabled people less favourably than their non-disabled peers.  Whilst law and policy is […]

Universal Human Rights – founded on Jewish experience, inspired by Jewish values

Event with Prof Francesca Klug – Tues 10 Sep, 7pm – book your free tickets

The Rule of Law and Socio-Economic Justice

Professor Geraldine van Bueren argues for a new approach

Renewed Uncertainty on Future of Human Rights Act

Sidney and Edith’s story Sidney and Edith have been married for 60 years.  When Edith is allocated to a different care home to Sidney, she is distraught that she could […]

Making the Jewish Case for Human Rights in the UK

René Cassin booklet – Jews must be at the forefront of promoting universal rights

Human rights begin at home

René Cassin statement on Holocaust Memorial Day

“We need to make the case for human rights values” – René Cassin Director

Mia Hasenson-Gross marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“We cannot be complacent” – Board of Deputies

BoD President marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“We must work and fight for human dignity” – Chief Rabbi

Chief Rabbi marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human Rights Shabbat 5779 (2018)

Welcome to the Human Rights Shabbat Resource Pack for 5779 (2018). Whether you are a synagogue, youth movement, University J-SOC, cheder teacher or just an interested individual we hope that […]

Is the Rule of Law under threat?

René Cassin hosts roundtable discussion with leading experts, led by Lord Daniel Finkelstein

The Promise of the UDHR 70 Years on

By Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission My father-in-law was 28 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted; living in New York […]

The Human Rights Act and LGBT+ Rights: Much to be Grateful For

by Caroline Beck, Trustee, KeshetUK This year, we celebrate 20 years since the passing of the Human Rights Act, the landmark piece of UK legislation that has been protecting human […]

Despite Human Rights Act, UK Still Failing Asylum Seekers and Refugees

By Jess Baker @jessica_baker_ It is 7pm in a dull Calais car park, and well fed refugees are wandering away from our vans into the dark. I’ve finished my actual […]

René Cassin Praises the Human Rights Act in Submission to Parliamentary Inquiry

In evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, René Cassin highlights the importance of the Human Rights Act (HRA) in improving people’s lives in the UK, by letting people […]

20 years of the Human Rights Act – a view from Jewish Women’s Aid

By Lee Wax, Communications & Training Manager at Jewish Women’s Aid This past year marks the 20th anniversary of the UK Human Rights Act. It has also seen unprecedented change […]

Happy 20th Birthday, Human Rights Act!

This week René Cassin is celebrating twenty years of UK Human Rights

Sunrise, not Sunset: a short film celebrating the Human Rights Act

How the Human Rights Act helps ordinary people in everyday situations

Over 30 Rabbis and other leaders of the Jewish community sign our letter to David Davis MP

René Cassin urges the govt to use Brexit to protect and strengthen human rights.

Ruling on religious burials recognises our individuality, our freedom and our humanity

High Court upholds principles laid down 70 years ago in Universal Declaration of Human Rights

EU Withdrawal Bill Update

Find out the latest updates as the bill goes through the House of Lords

Let’s Vote for Human Rights

Don’t forget to vote at the local elections – Thursday 3 May

René Cassin statement on anti-Semitism – Wednesday 28 March

Many women continue to suffer from inequality in their homes, employment and in state institutions

Let’s take the Human Rights road to Brexit

Please help us make sure nobody loses their rights on the Brexit journey

René Cassin statement on International Women’s Day – Thursday 8 March

Many women continue to suffer from inequality in their homes, employment and in state institutions

The Human Rights Act – protecting the victims of crime

The Supreme Court has put down a very clear marker for victims’ rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 – a cause for celebration, a time to remember

The UDHR was the civilised world’s response to the horrors of the Holocaust

Leaving the EU should not cost us important rights

René Cassin joins 30 other organisations to express concerns about impact of the EU Withdrawal Bill

What have Human Rights got to do with us?

Debora Singer writes movingly about her own family history…

Keir Starmer ‘put through his paces’ at René Cassin event

Click here to view full video recording of Keir’s conversation with Jo Coburn

Happy birthday to ‘the Father of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’

René Cassin was born 130 years ago today

Where now for Human Rights?

Times columnist David Aaronovitch leads expert discussion of challenges and opportunities ahead

‘The Boy Who Changed the Law’ – Human Rights Act School Resources

A free education pack aimed at citizenship education for key stage 4 and 5

Let’s Remake the Case for Human Rights Together

The election results are in … now our real work starts

What do the Manifestos say about Human Rights?

The key questions to ask your candidates

Five key questions to ask your local candidates

Human Rights and the General Election

Brexit – human rights are vital to a successful transition

Human rights allow prosperity, peace and freedom to flourish

Preserve Churchill’s vision of human rights, René Cassin tells Prime Minister

European Convention on Human Rights is essential to a ‘Global Britain’

Professor Sir Nigel Rodley – 1 December 1941 to 25 January 2017

We mourn the death of a friend who was a towering figure of human rights

René Cassin submits evidence on Brexit and the Implications for Human Rights

Read our submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry: This is a time to be vigilant and ensure that none of our hard earned human rights protections and mechanisms are weakened”.

Could the UK be doing more on human rights?

René Cassin have submitted evidence to the UK’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The UPR is a UN process that all 193 member countries go through every four and a half years […]

Concern over plans to repeal the Human Rights Act

Today, forty Rabbis – coordinated by René Cassin – have written to new Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, urging her to keep the UK’s Human Rights Act

Rabbis urge new Justice Secretary to keep Human Rights Act

Today, forty Rabbis – coordinated by René Cassin – have written to new Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, urging her to keep the UK’s Human Rights Act

Refugees, Asylum Seekers and the Human Rights Act

‘Refugee rights have always been precarious, and the state of politics in Europe and Britain make them look more vulnerable than ever’

Ben Brodie researches what impact repeal of the Human Rights Act might have on refugees and asylum seekers.

History Shows why we need a Human Rights Act – Dominic Grieve

Conservative MP and former Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve QC, sets out why the Jewish community should care about the Human Rights Act.

Human Rights are a legacy of the Holocaust

“On the day the world reflects on one of the darkest episodes in human history, we should also remember that our rights and liberties – vital to protect us from such tyranny in the future – are hard-won, but easily squandered.” Holocaust Memorial Day – joint René Cassin / Liberty statement

Mental health and the Human Rights Act

‘For people who suffer from mental health issues, human rights legislation in the UK has proved a critical tool in securing justice and developing safeguards for their protection’ We looked […]

Latest Human Rights Act Briefing

Despite negative reports from the media and political sectors, the public tends to be very receptive to the concept of legal protections of basic rights. Much of the important work the HRA does is rarely reported on.

René Cassin Review of Limmud 2015

Limmud Conference 2015 saw René Cassin present a number of human rights talks on issues surrounding our campaign areas. Our Campaigns Manager, Sam Grant, joined Adam Wagner and Aviva Dautch to […]

Human Rights Day – René Cassin signs joint letter to political leaders

  René Cassin has joined over 150 other organisations in calling on political leaders to stand with us this Human Rights Day. We have called on them to join in our […]

René Cassin briefs MPs before Human Rights Day Parliamentary Debate

Today, on International Human Rights Day, Backbench MPs will debate the following motion: ‘This House has Considered the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Across the World on International Human Rights […]

Happy Human Rights Day!

On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read our latest blog piece on why, 67 years on, it is as […]

Happy Birthday to the Human Rights Act

Happy Birthday to the Human Rights Act. Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Human Rights Act (HRA) as UK law. It’s a piece of legislation that has helped many […]

Human Rights Tour – Day of Action

Sunday 4 October, 11am-3pm at JHub, Haskell House, 152 West End Lane, London, NW6 1SD

Join us for a Young People’s Day: awareness raising and community debate for young people, marking 15 years of the Human Rights Act and what it means for us all.

New Article: Creeping conservatism of UK courts in Article 8 cases

The Human Rights Act is often criticized for affording too many people the right to stay in the UK due to their right to a family life, even if they […]

From Magna Carta to Harmondsworth

From Magna Carta to Harmondsworth Article on the contradiction of celebrating the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta in an era where the UK is the only country in Europe not […]

Save the Human Rights Act

Human Rights are Equally Ours Sometimes you can’t appreciate the value of something until it is taken away. So it is with human rights. Here is Ruth Barnett, talking about […]

There’s No Such Thing as Trivial Rights

There’s No Such Thing as Trivial Rights The Conservative Party’s proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), argues that one of the HRAs shortcomings is its failure to […]

Protecting Parliamentary Sovereignty: A Justification for Repealing the HRA?

The legislative framework for safeguarding human rights came about because of the need to protect people from the overweening power of the state – as witnessed by Nazi and Soviet […]

‘Human Rights: Protecting. Empowering. Inspiring.’

Concentration camp with rail line

We mark International Human Rights Day 2014 by publishing ‘the Jewish case for human rights’. Read how human rights laws are vital to real people who are suffering, or have suffered, persecution and discrimination.

The ‘simplicity’ of Human Rights

By Sam Grant, René Cassin Campaigns and Programmes Officer, July 2014   “Human rights are inscribed in the hearts of people; they were there long before lawmakers drafted their first […]