‘Human writes’

2020 Cohort

2020 Fellowship Programme

New deadline for applications: noon, Monday 18 November

Tackling Hate Crime

In Britain we are currently seeing an overall rise in hate crime, which affects all minority communities.

Hostility or prejudice against any community, whether motivated by religion or faith, disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, or a combination of characteristics, is unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to the legacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Hate crime, hate speech and threats affect our ability to enjoy hard won human rights, such as freedom from discrimination, and freedom to enjoy our personal and private life. To counter this, René Cassin is taking a human rights approach, highlighting the universality and intersectionality that transcends separate groups, and harnessing the Jewish values of equality and justice.

As human rights defenders, we must continue to stand together against all forms of hate.

We agree with the Board of Deputies of British Jews in its statement that ‘building a cohesive, safe, and welcoming society starts with discourse and rhetoric”. Our work will provide communities with a toolkit empowering them to speak out against hate speech and universalise the issue to bring people together. The Jewish community should remain committed to fighting for minorities and acting in solidarity– not because of our current status in British society but now in spite of it.

Standing together against hate: the launch of #CutItOut campaign in Parliament

Kate Green MP: “Hatred of one group is hatred of us all.”

Cut It Out Campaign

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers share a history of persecution with Jewish people. Targeted by the Nazis during the Holocaust, faced with open prejudice and official indifference, and now subjected to a rise in hate speech and online abuse. In 2017, 30% of reported anti-Muslim hate incidents and 18% of reported Anti-Semitic incidents occurred online. Three […]

National Hate Crime Awareness Week: Cut It Out

Launch of our anti-hate crime campaign, Wed 16 Oct 5pm, Houses of Parliament

Asylum and Detention

Throughout history, the ability to seek refuge has been essential to Jewish survival. However, in the UK today, those seeking refuge can be indefinitely locked up in immigration detention centres.

Imagine if you were locked up, and no one knew your release date.

The UK is the only country in Europe to indefinitely imprison people in detention centres. Every year, around 30,000 people are detained by the Home Office without charge and without time limit. Described by a cross-party group of MPs as “expensive, ineffective and unjust”, indefinite detention is rendered unnecessary by the fact that many of those detained are eventually released back in to the community.

René Cassin is proud member of the Detention Forum and, as an essential step towards a fairer system, has long campaigned for the introduction of a 28-day time limit on detention. In other areas of law, 28 days is the maximum time considered acceptable to hold someone without charge. Evidence shows that after 28 days, the detrimental impact on mental health increases significantly. René Cassin also supports alternatives to detention, which would make the immigration process more humane, more effective, and less costly.

Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment: Britain’s Immigration System Then and Now

Report of our Parliamentary event for Refugee Week 2019

The Lethal Policy of Indefinite Immigration Detention

René Cassin’s Campaigns Officer, Hannah Swirsky, writes in Jewish News Online: In Britain each year, around 25,000 migrants and asylum seekers are routinely locked up in detention centres – often for months, sometimes for years. No trial. No redress. No knowing when they will be released. No time limit on how long they can be […]

Refugee Week 2019

René Cassin is proud to support Refugee Week 2019 (17-23 June). Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, co-authored by our namesake Monsieur René Cassin, states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” and “the right to a nationality”. The need to protect these […]

MPs Call for End to Indefinite Detention

By Bella Lever Last month, the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report which called for a time limit on indefinite detention. One of the key reasons they list in support of a time limit is the potential for indefinite detention to ‘trigger mental illness and exacerbate mental health conditions where they already exist’. […]

Parliamentary Committee Backs Call for a 28-day Time Limit

Last week the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) published its report on immigration detention in the UK, joining René Cassin, and many others, in the call to end indefinite detention. Key recommendations from the JCHR: Independent decision making. To ensure adequate safegaurds and rigour, the decision on whether to detain someone should be made […]

These Walls Must Fall in Bristol

Two Bristol students discuss the successful campaign for Bristol City Council to pass a These Walls Must Fall motion. Imagine this – you’re locked up, and you don’t know your release date. No one will tell you, because most of the time, they don’t know either. This is the reality for 30,000 people, each year, […]

René Cassin submits evidence to Parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which is undertaking an inquiry into immigration detention. Highlighting how the current system infringes human rights, René Cassin stated that: “Migration and seeking asylum are central to the Jewish experience. Granting refuge to those who seek shelter is a core value within the Jewish […]

Shaw Review 2: “The time that many people spend in detention remains deeply troubling”

Stephen Shaw has published his long-awaited second review into UK immigration detention.

2018 Has Seen Our System of Immigration Detention Go from Bad to Worse

Michael Goldin calls for government reforms to an “appalling” system of immigration control.

The Forgotten Human Price of Immigration Detention

Javid wants policy to be fair, respectful and decent. UK policy is none of these.

“They are playing with people’s lives” – treatment of Jewish refugee highlights the UK’s shameful policy of indefinite detention

“I thought that Britain was a country of human rights but this is not the case in detention”

Its Refugee Week!

Refugees enrich our society – but many suffer unfair and disproportionate treatment

Solidarity as a Jewish Value: Why René Cassin is Setting up a Jewish Visitors Group

Interested in supporting someone in immigration detention? We want to hear from you!

Protesting at Yarl’s Wood: How Judaism Informs My Activism

By Jess Baker

‘The Windrush Generation’ – statement by René Cassin

The Government must provide adequate resources to confirm the secure immigration status of all affected

Women in Hunger Strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

Government criticised over treatment of detainees

‘A Matter of Routine’ – the cruelty and absurdity of indefinite immigration detention

28 day limit and community-based schemes offer more humane alternatives

René Cassin Goes Live – Immigration Detention Discussion

Our Campaigns Manager, Sam Grant, took 30 minutes to discuss the issue of Immigration Detention with Jeneration Students. Have a listen to Sam discussing what René Cassin do, what Immigration Detention is and what the Jewish community can do about it. Live with Sam Grant from René Cassin – What can the Jewish community do […]

Abuse in Detention is a Symptom of a Wider Problem

In response to an upcoming BBC Panorama undercover documentary examining immigration detention, G4S have suspended nine members of staff pending abuse allegations. You can read their statement here. The mistreatment is being condemned by politicians and civil society.  However, the problems go much deeper than just nine members of staff. The immigration detention system is […]

A Tale of Two Countries

Have a read and find out what our brilliant work experience students Soroh, Jessica and Julia, have been doing with us this Summer…

Minorities amongst Minorities

Minorities amongst Minorities: The LGBT experience in UK Detention Centres  René Cassin Personal Project Emma Falley July 2017 René Cassin works towards a world where everyone can fully enjoy their human rights. The organisation draws on Jewish experiences and values to make a compelling case for human rights values and to campaign for change. René […]

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

‘Cruel and Disproportionate’

In response to Donald Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim countries, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, commented: “Donald Trump’s ‘refugee ban’ is cruel, disproportionate and runs counter to international humanitarian law. René Cassin agree with broad swathes of civil society condemning Trump for his actions. The fact that this ban was announced on […]

Oppressing the stranger – another death in UK detention

There are community-based alternatives to the fatal inhumanity of immigration detention

René Cassin @Limmud #RefugeeDay

Find out about René Cassin’s refugee-themed day at Limmud Conference 2016

Government backtracks on 500% fee increases in Immigration Tribunals

René Cassin is pleased that the Government has reversed the 500% court fees increase in the immigration tribunal. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, previously said that the massive hike in costs would ‘result in justice being delayed and denied to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.’ It was announced that  fees […]

‘Lost humanity? Vulnerable Women in Detention’

How immigration detention affects women – and what Jewish teaching can tell us

‘A prison in all but name’

This article is published as part of ‘Unlocking Detention’ – an annual ‘virtual’ tour of the UK’s detention estate, which aims to shine a spotlight on one of the gravest civil liberties issues in Britain today. Michael Goldin is an alumni of the René Cassin Fellowship Programme and previously worked for the JCWI. I first […]

Asylum Workshops – November 8th & 15th

Want to help people through the asylum system? Find out how at these free workshops

Slavery Chief Warns of Modern Day Slavery Exploitation of Asylum Seekers

Kevin Hyland, the UK’s anti-slavery commissioner has written a letter to Theresa May highlighting that delayed efforts to provide asylum to unaccompanied child refugees in Calais exposes these children to the risk of modern slavery and exploitation. The letter comes shortly after Theresa May pledged millions of pounds to tackle the issue of modern day slavery. Kevin Hyland […]

500% court fee increase to go ahead despite opposition

The Government has announced that plans to implement increases of up to 500% in court fees for immigration and asylum cases will go ahead, despite all but five of 147 responses from the Government consultation opposing the move. René Cassin submitted evidence raising serious concerns around access to justice. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, responded […]

#RefugeesWelcome march

This Saturday, the 17th September, tens of thousands of people will be marching in solidarity with refugees. If you want to join the Jewish bloc, you can meet outside Marble Arch Station at 12.15. Read why this matters to the Jewish community here. Find out more about the march here.      

The Story of the ‘Refugee People’ is not over yet…

Kezia Niman writes about the indelible link between Jewish history and the refugee crisis

Open Letter to the new Home Secretary, Amber Rudd

Dear Home Secretary, Congratulations on your appointment. Your government has committed to leave the European Union while maintaining Britain’s position as a compassionate and outward facing country, meeting our global responsibilities. We are writing to urge you to maintain and increase the UK’s support for people who have fled violence, conflict and persecution, as part […]

It’s Refugee Week!

The 20th June is World Refugee Day and the beginning of Refugee Week. Read our statement below and check out our twitter to look at all the different events going on up and down the country.   You can download our statement here

18 months campaigning against indefinite detention

It has been an incredibly busy 18 months within our campaign to end indefinite detention. We’ve achieved some great breakthroughs but we still have plenty to do. Read our report on all the work that we’ve been doing with our partners below. You can download the full report here Members of the Jewish community putting […]

Justice is open to all – like the Ritz Hotel

The UK government has proposed increasing the fees that need to be paid to appeal an asylum or immigration decision in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal in England and Wales. René Cassin will be responding to the Government’s consultation. The consultation is open until 3 June 2016. Take part in the consultation You can also sign this […]

Write to your MP today!

Latest on the Immigration Bill. Lords Ramsbotham’s amendment on judicial oversight returns to the House of Commons on the 9th May. Now is the time to write to your MP asking them to shed a bit more light into the murky detention system. The Government also agreed for the first time to an element of […]

New Video. Detention in the 1940s: The story of Fritz Lustig

Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War as thousands of desperate people flee war-torn countries in the Middle East. Jewish experience is littered with episodes of fleeing persecution and seeking sanctuary. Like many people seeking asylum in Britain today, thousands of Jewish refugees were interned by their hosts. In the […]

Put a key on your Seder plate this Pesach

As we celebrate freedom at our Passover Seder, we remind ourselves of those whose freedom is still restricted. Get involved and take a small step to help raise awareness of the plight of those in indefinite detention and tell people that it is time for a time limit. You can download the poster here or find more […]

‘Amir died at his most vulnerable…’

On the 17th February, Amir Siman-Tov was sadly found dead at Colnbrook Detention Centre. The details around the circumstances of his death are still unclear. Amir is the 26th person to die in a UK detention centre. His death comes in the wake of  continued calls for reform to the immigration detention system. We hear a […]

Response to death of Amir Siman-Tov at Colnbrook Detention Centre

On the 17th February, Amir Siman-Tov was sadly found dead at Colnbrook Detention Centre. The details around the circumstances of his death are unclear. The Jewish Chronicle have covered the story here The Jewish News have covered the story here The Israel National News picked up the story here His death comes in the wake […]

Right to Remain and René Cassin: Asylum Workshops

We will be repeating these sessions on the 8th and 15th November in 2016. email sam.grant@renecassin.org for more information   In the light of the biggest movement of refugees since the Second World War René Cassin has been inundated with requests from people seeking to understand how the UK asylum system works and how they can help those […]

Shaw Review – positive but piecemeal

In May 2015, René Cassin submitted evidence to the Shaw Review into the welfare in immigration detention of vulnerable persons. Our submission highlighted the fact that the review would never be able to deal entirely with the issue of vulnerability whilst ignoring the central issue of indefinite immigration detention. The 350 page report out today again demonstrates […]

René Cassin and Tzelem Lobby Peers on Immigration Bill

The current Immigration Bill is so far a missed opportunity to put an end to the harmful practice of indefinite detention. We have joined together with Tzelem to Lobby Peers and you can read our joint letter below: If you want to get involved and help us on this campaign please don’t hesitate to email info@renecassin.org […]

René Cassin again raises the indefinite detention of asylum seekers

Following our submission to the Immigration Bill Committee last month, René Cassin has written to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights. We have again raised the issue of the indefinite detention of asylum seekers and called for the government to introduce a time limit to detention. The Immigration Bill provides the perfect opportunity for this. The […]

Asylum Detention Past and Present – René Cassin hosts event at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue

Last Sunday, as part of Mitzvah Day, René Cassin hosted an event at the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue in order to raise awareness of indefinite detention. We heard compelling talks from Thiru, a member of Freed Voices who has recently been through the detention system, and Fritz Lustig, a 96-year old German-Jewish man interned […]

‘An opportunity that should not be missed’ – Submission to the Immigration Bill

The Immigration Bill is currently at committee stage in Parliament. There are many policy entry points within this bill and you can find a briefing on the Bill here. The Bill represents an opportunity to end the indefinite detention of vulnerable people. We’ve submitted our thoughts to the committee and you can see our submission […]

Modern Day Abrahams

We spent Shabbat at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue and gave the sermon on immigration detention. Click below to find out what the Torah portion ‘Chaye Sarah’ has to do with indefinite detention. D’var Torah – Modern Day Abrahams

Is Britain Fairer?’ – not for some, new report reveals

In the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection in Britain, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) today reveals ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ over the past five years. Jewish human rights charity René Cassin, which campaigns on issues that resonate with Jewish historical experience – such as […]

“Broken and unfair” – René Cassin Director calls for immigration detention time limit

Speaking at an event called in response to the refugee crisis, René Cassin’s director, Mia Hasenson-Gross was asked: “What changes in UK law do you think are needed to address the issue of indefinite immigration detention?”. Read her reply …

‘Immigration Detention – then and now.’ Mitzvah Day at NPLS

Harmondsworth fence

Sunday 22 November, 1pm Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, 18-24 Oaklands Gate, Northwood, HA6 3AA The UK is the only country in the whole of Europe that does not have a time limit on how long an individual can be kept in detention. Join us and Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue as we explore the […]

The Refugee Crisis – the Jewish community’s response

Wednesday 7 October, 7pm at JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

As Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, find out how the Jewish community has come together to offer tangible ways to make a difference.

Detention Debate in Parliament

Today, 10th September 2015, Parliament sat down to debate detention for asylum seekers and refugees. Impassioned pleas were made by over 25 MPs, from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party. All MPs who spoke commended the report and called for radical change to the detention system. There was unanimous support for the […]

The Refugee Crisis

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Refugees fleeing Syria and other nations where they are facing unprecedented levels of persecution have this fundamental human right. It is our duty to ensure these rights are fulfilled […]

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons joins call for a time limit on detention

Nick Hardwick, the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, has today found that Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre ‘is failing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable women.’ For the first time, the government-appointed inspector has joined calls from a parliamentary inquiry, which René Cassin collected and submitted evidence to, for a time limit on […]

Religious Leaders on Immigration Detention: A Force to be Reckoned With

Leaders from René Cassin and Tzelem attended the London Church Refugee Network meeting to discuss interfaith campaigning on indefinite detention. Read more here.

Detention Interfaith Tent

Recently, Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders assembled at Harmondsworth Moor. The Moor sits five miles from the home of Magna Carta and a few feet away from Harmondsworth Detention Centre. The faith leaders met to raise their voice together in solidarity with those held in indefinite immigration detention in the UK as part of the […]

Detention Fast-Track Procedure Suspended

Minister for Immigration James Brokenshire has today announced the suspension of the Detained Fast Track asylum process in its entirety, following a series of successful legal challenges brought by Detention Action. The announcement follows the suspension of the appeals stage of the Fast Track by the Court of Appeal on Friday. The Minister said: ‘Recently the […]

Fear and prejudice here and abroad

Fear and prejudice here and abroad Gay, lesbian and bisexual asylum seekers face discrimination at every step of the process. The already harrowing experience of indefinite detention is worsened when you experience an extra layer of prejudice. The UK must do more to prevent harm coming to people seeking sanctuary on our shores.

René Cassin submits evidence to review of immigration detention

René Cassin were invited to submit evidence to the the Shaw Review of Welfare in Immigration Detention. Our central proposal is a simple one – the abolition of indefinite detention. René Cassin Shaw Review

Rabbis speak out after visit to detention centre

Rabbis speak out after visit to detention centre Representatives from the rabbinical social justice group Tzelem attended the Harmondsworth Detention Centre to see conditions first-hand. They spoke to detainees and their stories shocked and moved them. After seeing the physical and mental damage caused to vulnerable people, they brought a message home to their communities: […]

‘Lost Souls’ of the Detention System

‘Lost Souls’ of the Detention System The House of Lords debated immigration detention on the 26th of March 2015, demonstrating great compassion for the plight of some of the most vulnerable people in Britain. Lord Lloyd of Berwick, in his valedictory speech, chose to discuss this pressing issue, and René Cassin was present to capture […]

Immigration detention – “expensive, ineffective and unjust”

Harmondsworth fence

René Cassin welcomes today’s report by The Parliamentary Inquiry into the use of Immigration Detention in the UK. The report damns the current system as “expensive, ineffective and unjust” and calls for fundamental reform. The cross-party inquiry recommends that: There should be a time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can […]

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle There is a significant discord between the number of immigrants detained in the UK and that reflected by the official Home Office figure. This is because government statistics arbitrarily ignore an entire class of immigrant detainees: those held in Prison Service Establishments. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores the implications […]

Objection to Campsfield expansion

Immoral, Inefficient, Ill-timed … René Cassin calls for halt to plans to expand Immigration Removal Centre 14 January 2015 As part of our work with the Detention Forum and our ongoing campaign to end indefinite detention, René Cassin has called for a moratorium on the expansion of the detention estate. In line with this call we have submitted […]

Helping asylum seekers tell their story

During my time with René Cassin, I have been meeting with asylum seekers who had been detained in UK immigration removal centres. They had very different stories but with something in common: they all had experienced great suffering in their lives. It was not easy for me to hear their stories, but obviously it was even […]

Work Experience

The evolution of the human rights movement is intertwined with Jewish experience and Jewish values. It is vital that people from all walks of life understand and advocate for their rights.

René Cassin is very happy to host work experience students and provide the opportunity to learn about our human rights campaigns and gain insight into what it’s like working for a human rights charity.

Your work will include supporting the team by attending meetings and events with partners; conducting research; working on social media and any other ad-hoc needs in a friendly work environment.

Interested in undertaking some work experience with us and working to champion human rights?

Please email info@renecassin.org with the dates you are available and why you would like to undertake work experience at René Cassin.

Have a read through the testimonials from our most recent work experience students:

My Week at René Cassin

I learnt that when one advocates for the human rights of one particular group, all groups benefit.

Misogyny as a hate crime: not so fast

Work experience student Mollie writes on the campaign to have misogyny classified as a hate crime

“I learnt the importance and significance of what René Cassin stands for and the crucial role the organisation plays within society”

Lily Compton reflects on how her work experience week has inspired her to not just observe events, but to take action to protect human rights.

“We as a community cannot sit back and watch as others experience the horrors of slavery”

Leah Malkinson explains how her work experience week was not just admin and making coffee, but rather “immersed [her] into the world of human rights activism”

The Importance of Speaking Out for Those Who Have no Voice

By Eliana Levy, July 2019 I first heard of René Cassin at a volunteering fair at my school, Hasmonean High School. They were talking about how I could volunteer with them and also about the work experience that they offer. As someone who feels very passionately about human rights, I saw this as a great […]

Trafficked women being transported “from one hell to another”

By Grace, Work Experience July 2019 Slavery, trafficking and indefinite detention are some of the greatest human rights issue of our time, affecting the mental health of those most vulnerable, to the brink of everlasting despair. Home Office ‘illegally’ put trafficking victims in detention centres, report finds- ⁦@ukhomeoffice⁩ need to drastically improve how they identify […]

“René Cassin shines brightly in our country as an organisation that stands up to discrimination”

By Joshua Wuggenig I came to René Cassin at a particularly daunting time for human rights around the world, with Western countries catering further and further to far-right groups and policies, bringing discrimination and hate crime into the public view, and brutal crackdowns on minorities by countries around the world – the Uyghurs in China, […]

Students Create History of Human Rights Podcast

Two student from JFS, Georgie and David, have created a wonderful short podcast outlining a brief history of human rights in UK.

“I’ve picked up a sense of empowerment to follow my new-found enthusiasm for human rights, and an appreciation for my Jewish heritage”

Freya Papadopoulos discusses how her work experience at René Cassin has exposed her to the necessity of kindness and empathy in everyday life

René Cassin “has cemented my belief in the power and importance of human rights”

Joe Rowan reflects on René Cassin’s nurturing environment and his personal passion for activism.

“Uniting against adversity will make us more powerful” – a week with René Cassin

Isobel Mintz reflects on how her week with René Cassin has opened her eyes to a “unique perspective on human rights”.

“When considering human rights, it is up to humans to do what’s right”

David Cohen explains how a week with René Cassin has challenged his cynicism with regards to work experience and the human rights sector as a whole.

‘With each passing day, I have been educated and empowered’ – a week at René Cassin

Georgie joined the René Cassin team for a week in July 2018. She left feeling that she’d been given the tools to engage in her own future human rights activism.

‘A pivotal moment in my life’ – a work experience student describes her week at René Cassin

She expected photocopying and making coffee; instead she got her “own personal enlightenment”.

“I was truly inspired by René Cassin’s work”

Work experience student, Ella Marshall, describes her crash course in human rights.

Check out these amazing young human rights advocates

Have a read and find out what our brilliant work experience students Liora and Nathaniel have been doing with us this summer.

Not just coffee and filing

Zoe Samama recently completed her work experience with us – have a read of what she got up to.

What have our work experience students been up to?

Have a read and find out what our wonderful work experience students Soroh, Jessica and Julia have been doing with us this summer.

Human rights thought for the week

Human Rights Thought for the Week

Connecting each portion of the Torah to human rights

Time for a time limit campaign

Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment: Britain’s Immigration System Then and Now

Report of our Parliamentary event for Refugee Week 2019

The Lethal Policy of Indefinite Immigration Detention

René Cassin’s Campaigns Officer, Hannah Swirsky, writes in Jewish News Online: In Britain each year, around 25,000 migrants and asylum seekers are routinely locked up in detention centres – often for months, sometimes for years. No trial. No redress. No knowing when they will be released. No time limit on how long they can be […]

Refugee Week 2019

René Cassin is proud to support Refugee Week 2019 (17-23 June). Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, co-authored by our namesake Monsieur René Cassin, states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” and “the right to a nationality”. The need to protect these […]

MPs Call for End to Indefinite Detention

By Bella Lever Last month, the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report which called for a time limit on indefinite detention. One of the key reasons they list in support of a time limit is the potential for indefinite detention to ‘trigger mental illness and exacerbate mental health conditions where they already exist’. […]

Parliamentary Committee Backs Call for a 28-day Time Limit

Last week the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) published its report on immigration detention in the UK, joining René Cassin, and many others, in the call to end indefinite detention. Key recommendations from the JCHR: Independent decision making. To ensure adequate safegaurds and rigour, the decision on whether to detain someone should be made […]

These Walls Must Fall in Bristol

Two Bristol students discuss the successful campaign for Bristol City Council to pass a These Walls Must Fall motion. Imagine this – you’re locked up, and you don’t know your release date. No one will tell you, because most of the time, they don’t know either. This is the reality for 30,000 people, each year, […]

René Cassin submits evidence to Parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which is undertaking an inquiry into immigration detention. Highlighting how the current system infringes human rights, René Cassin stated that: “Migration and seeking asylum are central to the Jewish experience. Granting refuge to those who seek shelter is a core value within the Jewish […]

Shaw Review 2: “The time that many people spend in detention remains deeply troubling”

Stephen Shaw has published his long-awaited second review into UK immigration detention.

2018 Has Seen Our System of Immigration Detention Go from Bad to Worse

Michael Goldin calls for government reforms to an “appalling” system of immigration control.

“They are playing with people’s lives” – treatment of Jewish refugee highlights the UK’s shameful policy of indefinite detention

“I thought that Britain was a country of human rights but this is not the case in detention”

Solidarity as a Jewish Value: Why René Cassin is Setting up a Jewish Visitors Group

Interested in supporting someone in immigration detention? We want to hear from you!

Protesting at Yarl’s Wood: How Judaism Informs My Activism

By Jess Baker

‘The Windrush Generation’ – statement by René Cassin

The Government must provide adequate resources to confirm the secure immigration status of all affected

Women in Hunger Strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

Government criticised over treatment of detainees

‘A Matter of Routine’ – the cruelty and absurdity of indefinite immigration detention

28 day limit and community-based schemes offer more humane alternatives

René Cassin Goes Live – Immigration Detention Discussion

Our Campaigns Manager, Sam Grant, took 30 minutes to discuss the issue of Immigration Detention with Jeneration Students. Have a listen to Sam discussing what René Cassin do, what Immigration Detention is and what the Jewish community can do about it. Live with Sam Grant from René Cassin – What can the Jewish community do […]

Abuse in Detention is a Symptom of a Wider Problem

In response to an upcoming BBC Panorama undercover documentary examining immigration detention, G4S have suspended nine members of staff pending abuse allegations. You can read their statement here. The mistreatment is being condemned by politicians and civil society.  However, the problems go much deeper than just nine members of staff. The immigration detention system is […]

Minorities amongst Minorities

Minorities amongst Minorities: The LGBT experience in UK Detention Centres  René Cassin Personal Project Emma Falley July 2017 René Cassin works towards a world where everyone can fully enjoy their human rights. The organisation draws on Jewish experiences and values to make a compelling case for human rights values and to campaign for change. René […]

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

Oppressing the stranger – another death in UK detention

There are community-based alternatives to the fatal inhumanity of immigration detention

‘Lost humanity? Vulnerable Women in Detention’

How immigration detention affects women – and what Jewish teaching can tell us

‘A prison in all but name’

This article is published as part of ‘Unlocking Detention’ – an annual ‘virtual’ tour of the UK’s detention estate, which aims to shine a spotlight on one of the gravest civil liberties issues in Britain today. Michael Goldin is an alumni of the René Cassin Fellowship Programme and previously worked for the JCWI. I first […]

18 months campaigning against indefinite detention

It has been an incredibly busy 18 months within our campaign to end indefinite detention. We’ve achieved some great breakthroughs but we still have plenty to do. Read our report on all the work that we’ve been doing with our partners below. You can download the full report here Members of the Jewish community putting […]

Write to your MP today!

Latest on the Immigration Bill. Lords Ramsbotham’s amendment on judicial oversight returns to the House of Commons on the 9th May. Now is the time to write to your MP asking them to shed a bit more light into the murky detention system. The Government also agreed for the first time to an element of […]

New Video. Detention in the 1940s: The story of Fritz Lustig

Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War as thousands of desperate people flee war-torn countries in the Middle East. Jewish experience is littered with episodes of fleeing persecution and seeking sanctuary. Like many people seeking asylum in Britain today, thousands of Jewish refugees were interned by their hosts. In the […]

Put a key on your Seder plate this Pesach

As we celebrate freedom at our Passover Seder, we remind ourselves of those whose freedom is still restricted. Get involved and take a small step to help raise awareness of the plight of those in indefinite detention and tell people that it is time for a time limit. You can download the poster here or find more […]

‘Amir died at his most vulnerable…’

On the 17th February, Amir Siman-Tov was sadly found dead at Colnbrook Detention Centre. The details around the circumstances of his death are still unclear. Amir is the 26th person to die in a UK detention centre. His death comes in the wake of  continued calls for reform to the immigration detention system. We hear a […]

Response to death of Amir Siman-Tov at Colnbrook Detention Centre

On the 17th February, Amir Siman-Tov was sadly found dead at Colnbrook Detention Centre. The details around the circumstances of his death are unclear. The Jewish Chronicle have covered the story here The Jewish News have covered the story here The Israel National News picked up the story here His death comes in the wake […]

Shaw Review – positive but piecemeal

In May 2015, René Cassin submitted evidence to the Shaw Review into the welfare in immigration detention of vulnerable persons. Our submission highlighted the fact that the review would never be able to deal entirely with the issue of vulnerability whilst ignoring the central issue of indefinite immigration detention. The 350 page report out today again demonstrates […]

René Cassin again raises the indefinite detention of asylum seekers

Following our submission to the Immigration Bill Committee last month, René Cassin has written to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights. We have again raised the issue of the indefinite detention of asylum seekers and called for the government to introduce a time limit to detention. The Immigration Bill provides the perfect opportunity for this. The […]

Asylum Detention Past and Present – René Cassin hosts event at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue

Last Sunday, as part of Mitzvah Day, René Cassin hosted an event at the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue in order to raise awareness of indefinite detention. We heard compelling talks from Thiru, a member of Freed Voices who has recently been through the detention system, and Fritz Lustig, a 96-year old German-Jewish man interned […]

“Broken and unfair” – René Cassin Director calls for immigration detention time limit

Speaking at an event called in response to the refugee crisis, René Cassin’s director, Mia Hasenson-Gross was asked: “What changes in UK law do you think are needed to address the issue of indefinite immigration detention?”. Read her reply …

Detention Debate in Parliament

Today, 10th September 2015, Parliament sat down to debate detention for asylum seekers and refugees. Impassioned pleas were made by over 25 MPs, from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party. All MPs who spoke commended the report and called for radical change to the detention system. There was unanimous support for the […]

Religious Leaders on Immigration Detention: A Force to be Reckoned With

Leaders from René Cassin and Tzelem attended the London Church Refugee Network meeting to discuss interfaith campaigning on indefinite detention. Read more here.

Detention Interfaith Tent

Recently, Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders assembled at Harmondsworth Moor. The Moor sits five miles from the home of Magna Carta and a few feet away from Harmondsworth Detention Centre. The faith leaders met to raise their voice together in solidarity with those held in indefinite immigration detention in the UK as part of the […]

Detention Fast-Track Procedure Suspended

Minister for Immigration James Brokenshire has today announced the suspension of the Detained Fast Track asylum process in its entirety, following a series of successful legal challenges brought by Detention Action. The announcement follows the suspension of the appeals stage of the Fast Track by the Court of Appeal on Friday. The Minister said: ‘Recently the […]

René Cassin submits evidence to review of immigration detention

René Cassin were invited to submit evidence to the the Shaw Review of Welfare in Immigration Detention. Our central proposal is a simple one – the abolition of indefinite detention. René Cassin Shaw Review

Rabbis speak out after visit to detention centre

Rabbis speak out after visit to detention centre Representatives from the rabbinical social justice group Tzelem attended the Harmondsworth Detention Centre to see conditions first-hand. They spoke to detainees and their stories shocked and moved them. After seeing the physical and mental damage caused to vulnerable people, they brought a message home to their communities: […]

‘Lost Souls’ of the Detention System

‘Lost Souls’ of the Detention System The House of Lords debated immigration detention on the 26th of March 2015, demonstrating great compassion for the plight of some of the most vulnerable people in Britain. Lord Lloyd of Berwick, in his valedictory speech, chose to discuss this pressing issue, and René Cassin was present to capture […]

Immigration detention – “expensive, ineffective and unjust”

Harmondsworth fence

René Cassin welcomes today’s report by The Parliamentary Inquiry into the use of Immigration Detention in the UK. The report damns the current system as “expensive, ineffective and unjust” and calls for fundamental reform. The cross-party inquiry recommends that: There should be a time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can […]

Newsletters

Past tragedy, present trouble & future hope – holding on to human rights – newsletter 29 August 2019

Remembering the Roma GenocideRefugee Week … China’s repression of Muslim minoritiesSocio-economic justice … RC Fellows in Budapest … and the latest on our events

Making the Jewish case for Human Rights, in ‘small places, close to home’ – newsletter 13 March 2019

Updates on our Jewish Human Rights Heroes event … our ‘Making the Jewish case for Human Rights’ publication … latest campaigning news … profiling activist Debora Singer … and notice of new events in May and September

Celebrating Nelson Mandela’s “sudden ray of hope” – newsletter 14 November 2018

Events to mark 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights … ‘Sunrise, not Sunset’ film shows how the Human Rights Act helps ordinary people in everyday situationsremembering the Roma Holocaust … latest campaigning on modern slavery and indefinite immigration detention

Meet the 70 year old safeguarding human dignity around the world – newsletter 27 July 2018

Celebrating ‘the Magna Carta for all humanity’ … on the front line of human rights defence – René Cassin in Budapest … remembering the Roma victims of the Holocaust … demanding an end to indefinite immigration detention

A Human Rights milestone – newsletter 7 March 2018

Celebrating & Remembering – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70, progress on modern slavery, latest human rights readings and … introducing Hannah Swirsky, our new Campaigns Manager

Will the Government keep its Brexit promise on human rights? – newsletter 29 November 2017

The EU Withdrawal Bill was supposed to be a ‘copy & paste’ job. But human rights were very nearly ‘cut & trashed’. Hear how we put the Shadow Brexit Secretary ‘through his paces’. And when Kevin met Ephraim – how René Cassin brought the Slavery Commissioner and the Chief Rabbi together to discuss the scourge of modern day slavery.

Where now for human rights? – newsletter 20 July 2017

Our future-gazing roundtable with Times columnist David Aaronovitch, Keir Starmer in Conversation, the Fellowship Programme visits Budapest – plus a round-up of all the latest news

So, we wrote to the Prime Minister … newsletter 23 March 2017

We ask Theresa May to reconsider her desire to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights – plus a round-up of all our latest campaigns

It’s not all gloom and doom – newsletter 22 December 2016

2016 has been an unsettling year for human rights – but there are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic – and many ways you can help us keep the flame of human rights alight.

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 29 September 2016

Defending the Human RIghts Act after the Brexit vote; Free asylum workshops; Speaking out against Hate Crime – and Jewish New Year greetings from Director, Mia Hasenson-Gross

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 2 June 2016

Good news on asylum, the fight to save the Human Rights Act and much more – read the latest round-up of René Cassin’s work in our supporters’ newsletter, 2 June 2016

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 24 February 2016

The lethal policy of immigration detention, defending the Human Rights Act … and much more – read the latest news from René Cassin – in our supporters’ newsletter, 24 February 2016

2018 Fellows

Meet the 2018 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

Meet our 2018 Cohort of exceptional Fellows.

2019 Cohort

Budapest – May 2019

Hungary is a country of poignant contradictions – a case study in the challenges of contemporary human rights. e learned about Jewish life and social action in Budapest, and the trip shone a spotlight on Hungary’s Roma community.

What’s the situation in Hungary and what’s it like for minorities? – Friday 24 May 2019

Our second day in Budapest – a deep dive into modern-day Hungary and the lived experiences of marginalised groups

Jewish life and social action in Hungary – Saturday 25 May 2019

Despite Shabbat being ‘the day of rest’, the third day of our trip to Budapest matched the intensity of the others – high.

The Adomanyitaxi (Charity Taxi) Programme – Sunday 26 May 2019

“We were all entirely overcome by the power of the day” – Fellows visit a Hungarian Roma village

Life in Hungary Under the Nazis

By Jeffrey Newman For me, this was the session when the Fellowship first began to ‘gel’. Partially this is the result of the number of meetings and the time in the Pub, but more it was the open human approach of Marta whose warmth and personal story allowed us to connect with her and therefore […]

Fighting Hate Crime and Discrimination: The Jewish Standpoint

Learn about the takeaways from our latest session by one of our Fellows

Reflection on Session Three: Immigration Detention

by Mo Makin The topic of discussion for this session was immigration detention. Immigration always seems to be in the News. Politicians and journalists are mostly seen questioning how much immigration the UK has? What type of immigrants are coming and where those immigrants are from? I feel that because the majority of focus on […]

Reflections on Session Two Modern Slavery

By Josh Vuglar Am I not a man and a brother? From the story of the oppression of the Jews in Egypt as told in the Book of Exodus, to the brutality of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery often seems something distant and remote. A horror consigned to history forever more. Yet, slavery persists and […]

Reflections on Session One

By Claudia Hyde The 2019 René Cassin-AJA Fellowship Programme kicked off on 29 January 2019 with the inaugural session, where we were introduced to each other and to the themes of the programme. With eight participants, this year’s cohort is benefiting from a diverse range of experiences and professional backgrounds, which include public health, rabbinical […]

Meet the 2019 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

We are excited to welcome our new Cohort of Fellows, read all about them here.

2019 Fellows

Meet the 2019 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

We are excited to welcome our new Cohort of Fellows, read all about them here.

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.

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 meant in theory not to discriminate against disabled people, too often discrimination takes place in practice. By incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) […]

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 be parted from him in their old age.   But when Edith points out to Social Services that this would breach their human right to private […]

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

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 City with his family, four thousand miles from home, survivors of the devastation of European Jewry.  He still has an Austrian accent, still hasn’t been […]

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 rights, and in particular the rights of LGBT+ people, in almost every walk of life since. There are many ways in which the UK 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 job on the hot food distribution, having spent an hour ferrying hot curry to replenish busy serving tables, wiping surfaces and organising a cramped van. […]

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 raise legal claims in the UK. Furthermore, the section 6(1) provision in the HRA, which makes it unlawful for public bodies to act in a […]

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 in the social climate and discourse around violence against women. We’ve witnessed the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the disclosures of previously covered-up sexual harassment in […]

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 kept an elderly couple together

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

New Human Rights Act School Resources

***deadline – 6 Feb*** “The great human rights issue of our time”. Do you agree?

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

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 to review their domestic human rights situation, and set recommendations for future progress. In our submission, René Cassin raised four main issues for the UK […]

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

Writing in this week’s Jewish Chronicle, 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 at why the Human Rights Act has been good for those with mental health issues and what the ramifications of scrapping the Act would be […]

Latest Human Rights Act Briefing

Ahead of our sold out JW3 event with Dominic Grieve MP QC on January 21st we have put together a brief update on where the conversation surrounding the Human Rights Act is up to: You can download the briefing here. We will be live tweeting the event from 7pm until 8.30pm on Thursday night and […]

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 examine Magna Carta and its connections with today’s debate over the Human Rights Act. Sam also presented two sessions with Rabbi Natan Levy on the indefinite detention of […]

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 celebration of the Human Rights Act and the way it strengthens our democracy, not weakens it. The letter was published in the Times today. Read […]

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 Day’. It is the first debate on human rights during this government so it was an important opportunity to have the Jewish voice heard. Have a look at […]

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 important as ever. Happy Human Rights Day!

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 seek justice and correct wrongs. Yet there is a chance it won’t have another anniversary as the government seeks to repeal it and replace it […]

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 have committed crimes. Melissa Goldstein analyses recent cases surrounding Article 8 and finds that UK judges are currently interpreting Article 8 in far narrower terms. Download the […]

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 to have an upper time limit on detention.

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 why she believes that as a Holocaust survivor human rights are vital for everyone.The government has announced its intention to ‘bring forward proposals for a […]

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 distinguish between serious and trivial human rights. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores how this proposed distinction contradicts the contemporary international understanding of the human […]

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 atrocities in the 20th century. The UK was one of the first countries to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by enacting the […]

‘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 proclamation.”  Mary Robinson  What is a Human Right? Briefly put, a human right is a right you have by virtue of being human. However, this […]

René Cassin Fellowship Programme

Meet the 2019 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

We are excited to welcome our new Cohort of Fellows, read all about them here.

Meet the 2018 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

Meet our 2018 Cohort of exceptional Fellows.

Our 2017 René Cassin Fellows

This year we have six brilliant Fellows examining human rights through a Jewish lens.

Meet the 2015 René Cassin Fellows

Read the biographies of our 2015 Fellows from the UK, USA and Israel.

2014 René Cassin Fellows

Meet our 2014 Cohort of René Cassin – AJA Fellows.

Press releases and statements

Today, on Anti-Slavery Day we are focussing on those small, often unnoticed, places, close to home, where human rights begin

Slavery is not history. It would be comforting to think that it ended with William Wilberforce’s Abolition Act in 1833. But it didn’t. It is here and it is now. A thoroughly modern manifestation of heartless exploitation and human misery. All happening today, right under our noses. No wonder Theresa May called it ‘the great […]

René Cassin and the Traveller Movement launch a new anti-hate speech campaign calling for more respectful language in politics

On Wednesday the 16 of October, René Cassin and the Traveller Movement will launch a new anti-hate speech campaign. The #Cut It Out campaign aims to tackle hate speech and inflammatory rhetoric in politics against ethnic minorities or religious groups. By cutting out words that show who the hate is being directed at, we reveal […]

European Elections Statement

It’s election time! The right to vote, set out in Protocol 1, Article 3 of the Human Rights Act, is a vital prerequisite for a democratic society. We therefore urge everyone to use their democratic human right and vote in the European Elections today. Making a Stand Against Hate Across Europe we are seeing a […]

International Women’s Day 2019

Today is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating how far we have come in securing women’s rights, but also for thinking about all those who have been left behind. Despite Eleanor Roosevelts affirmation that human rights begin “in small places, close to home”, so too do discrimination and violence against women. The current UK […]

Human rights begin at home

René Cassin statement on Holocaust Memorial Day

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

On 2nd of August, representatives of the Jewish community joined with the Roma community to mark Roma Genocide Remembrance day. Standing at the Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park, Grattan Puxon, Roma rights campaigner, stressed the importance of commemorating the murder of hundreds and thousands of Roma people during the Holocaust. Other Roma representatives highlighted the disgraceful treatment of Roma […]

US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council – we need politicians to keep talking

Responding to the United States’ decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, said today: Lasting solutions to the many serious abuses of human rights worldwide will only be tackled by nations sitting down and talking – and, yes, often arguing – about the issues. Like any human […]

“I cried from joy” – RSY-Netzer raises £350 to support survivors of human trafficking

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

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

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

Simone Veil Obituary

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

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’

‘Cruel and Disproportionate’

In response to Donald Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim countries, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, commented: “Donald Trump’s ‘refugee ban’ is cruel, disproportionate and runs counter to international humanitarian law. René Cassin agree with broad swathes of civil society condemning Trump for his actions. The fact that this ban was announced on […]

Government backtracks on 500% fee increases in Immigration Tribunals

René Cassin is pleased that the Government has reversed the 500% court fees increase in the immigration tribunal. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, previously said that the massive hike in costs would ‘result in justice being delayed and denied to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.’ It was announced that  fees […]

National Hate Crime Awareness Week, 8 to 15 October

We are highlighting the problem of hate crime against Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities

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 to review their domestic human rights situation, and set recommendations for future progress. In our submission, René Cassin raised four main issues for the UK […]

Slavery Chief Warns of Modern Day Slavery Exploitation of Asylum Seekers

Kevin Hyland, the UK’s anti-slavery commissioner has written a letter to Theresa May highlighting that delayed efforts to provide asylum to unaccompanied child refugees in Calais exposes these children to the risk of modern slavery and exploitation. The letter comes shortly after Theresa May pledged millions of pounds to tackle the issue of modern day slavery. Kevin Hyland […]

500% court fee increase to go ahead despite opposition

The Government has announced that plans to implement increases of up to 500% in court fees for immigration and asylum cases will go ahead, despite all but five of 147 responses from the Government consultation opposing the move. René Cassin submitted evidence raising serious concerns around access to justice. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, responded […]

René Cassin submits evidence to Hate Crime Inquiry

“There is no place for hate” René Cassin’s director tells Home Affairs Select Committee’s inquiry.

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

Response to Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference

René Cassin was deeply concerned by the rhetoric and proposed plans set forward in the Home Secretary’s speech.

Statement on attacks in Paris – 7 January 2015

René Cassin is shocked by the murders that took place last week. We have a particular connection to these dreadful events. We hope and believe that the human virtues of tolerance and respect will triumph over hatred and suspicion …

Fellowship Programme

Applications for the René Cassin-AJA Fellowship Programme 2019 cohort are now open.

The René Cassin – AJA Fellowship Programme (RCFP) brings together a cohort of exceptional professionals to explore human rights issues through a unique Jewish lens. The ten month programme provides individuals with the knowledge, skills and contacts needed to enhance their activism in the areas of social justice and human rights.

2020 Fellowship Programme

New deadline for applications: noon, Monday 18 November

Budapest – May 2019

Hungary is a country of poignant contradictions – a case study in the challenges of contemporary human rights. e learned about Jewish life and social action in Budapest, and the trip shone a spotlight on Hungary’s Roma community.

What’s the situation in Hungary and what’s it like for minorities? – Friday 24 May 2019

Our second day in Budapest – a deep dive into modern-day Hungary and the lived experiences of marginalised groups

Jewish life and social action in Hungary – Saturday 25 May 2019

Despite Shabbat being ‘the day of rest’, the third day of our trip to Budapest matched the intensity of the others – high.

The Adomanyitaxi (Charity Taxi) Programme – Sunday 26 May 2019

“We were all entirely overcome by the power of the day” – Fellows visit a Hungarian Roma village

Life in Hungary Under the Nazis

By Jeffrey Newman For me, this was the session when the Fellowship first began to ‘gel’. Partially this is the result of the number of meetings and the time in the Pub, but more it was the open human approach of Marta whose warmth and personal story allowed us to connect with her and therefore […]

Fighting Hate Crime and Discrimination: The Jewish Standpoint

Learn about the takeaways from our latest session by one of our Fellows

Reflection on Session Three: Immigration Detention

by Mo Makin The topic of discussion for this session was immigration detention. Immigration always seems to be in the News. Politicians and journalists are mostly seen questioning how much immigration the UK has? What type of immigrants are coming and where those immigrants are from? I feel that because the majority of focus on […]

Reflections on Session Two Modern Slavery

By Josh Vuglar Am I not a man and a brother? From the story of the oppression of the Jews in Egypt as told in the Book of Exodus, to the brutality of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery often seems something distant and remote. A horror consigned to history forever more. Yet, slavery persists and […]

Reflections on Session One

By Claudia Hyde The 2019 René Cassin-AJA Fellowship Programme kicked off on 29 January 2019 with the inaugural session, where we were introduced to each other and to the themes of the programme. With eight participants, this year’s cohort is benefiting from a diverse range of experiences and professional backgrounds, which include public health, rabbinical […]

Meet the 2019 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

We are excited to welcome our new Cohort of Fellows, read all about them here.

Campaigning 101 with Barry Sheerman MP

Fellow Lauren Chaplin reflect on the programme’s 6th session: Parliamentary Lobbying and Campaigning Seatbelts. Those ubiquitous details of the commute, the school run, the long drive to see family. We use them every day – but it wasn’t always that way. Parliamentary initiatives to make the use of seatbelts compulsory failed on successive occasions, until […]

René Cassin AJA Fellows go to Budapest!

The trip offered our Fellows the opportunity to learn about why Hungarian society has embraced nationalism, how its ascendance has affected human rights & its impact on organised civil society.

Day One – Philosophy, history & activism

Lauren Chaplin reflects on Day One, where Fellows met with Professor Gabor Balzas, Aniko Feliz of the Tom Lantos Institute and activist and academic Eszter Susan.

Day Three – Jewish, Roma and LGBTQI intersectionality

Bella Lever is “particularly struck by the interaction and overlap” between the Jewish, LGBTQI and GRT organisations that the Fellows encounter on Day Three.

Day Four – Charity Taxi Project

Sam Alston reflects on the Fellows’ fourth day in Budapest.

Meet the 2018 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

Meet our 2018 Cohort of exceptional Fellows.

Discrimination & hate crime – issues uniting Jews and Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

Fellow Talia Blank reflects on the programme’s fourth session on discrimination and hate crime – “in 2016 – 2017, 80,000 hate crimes were recorded by the Police in England and Wales”…

Asylum, refuge & detention

Samantha Linfield discusses the programme’s third session on indefinite detention, led by the Director of Detention Action.

Modern slavery is insidious

It’s in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the IT we rely on – Bella Lever reflects on the Fellowship Programme’s second session.

From Magna Carta to the 2010 Equality Act – the opening session of 2018’s Fellowship Programme

Lauren Chaplin discusses session one – introductions and a crash course on human rights with Doughty Street barrister and RightsInfo founder Adam Wagner.

Our 2017 René Cassin Fellows

This year we have six brilliant Fellows examining human rights through a Jewish lens.

Budapest 2017 – Roma fashions shows and inspiring activists

Our 2017 René Cassin Fellows recently returned from a trip to Budapest, where refugees, Roma and sexual minorities are under attack from Hungary’s nationalist government.

Meet the 2015 René Cassin Fellows

Read the biographies of our 2015 Fellows from the UK, USA and Israel.

2015 Budapest Study Tour

In June 2015, we took a party of young professionals from the UK, US and Israel to Budapest to learn about human rights from a Jewish perspective.

2014 René Cassin Fellows

Meet our 2014 Cohort of René Cassin – AJA Fellows.

Budapest

René Cassin AJA Fellows go to Budapest!

The trip offered our Fellows the opportunity to learn about why Hungarian society has embraced nationalism, how its ascendance has affected human rights & its impact on organised civil society.

Day One – Philosophy, history & activism

Lauren Chaplin reflects on Day One, where Fellows met with Professor Gabor Balzas, Aniko Feliz of the Tom Lantos Institute and activist and academic Eszter Susan.

Day Three – Jewish, Roma and LGBTQI intersectionality

Bella Lever is “particularly struck by the interaction and overlap” between the Jewish, LGBTQI and GRT organisations that the Fellows encounter on Day Three.

Day Four – Charity Taxi Project

Sam Alston reflects on the Fellows’ fourth day in Budapest.

2018 Cohort

Campaigning 101 with Barry Sheerman MP

Fellow Lauren Chaplin reflect on the programme’s 6th session: Parliamentary Lobbying and Campaigning Seatbelts. Those ubiquitous details of the commute, the school run, the long drive to see family. We use them every day – but it wasn’t always that way. Parliamentary initiatives to make the use of seatbelts compulsory failed on successive occasions, until […]

René Cassin AJA Fellows go to Budapest!

The trip offered our Fellows the opportunity to learn about why Hungarian society has embraced nationalism, how its ascendance has affected human rights & its impact on organised civil society.

Day One – Philosophy, history & activism

Lauren Chaplin reflects on Day One, where Fellows met with Professor Gabor Balzas, Aniko Feliz of the Tom Lantos Institute and activist and academic Eszter Susan.

Day Three – Jewish, Roma and LGBTQI intersectionality

Bella Lever is “particularly struck by the interaction and overlap” between the Jewish, LGBTQI and GRT organisations that the Fellows encounter on Day Three.

Day Four – Charity Taxi Project

Sam Alston reflects on the Fellows’ fourth day in Budapest.

Meet the 2018 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

Meet our 2018 Cohort of exceptional Fellows.

Discrimination & hate crime – issues uniting Jews and Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

Fellow Talia Blank reflects on the programme’s fourth session on discrimination and hate crime – “in 2016 – 2017, 80,000 hate crimes were recorded by the Police in England and Wales”…

Asylum, refuge & detention

Samantha Linfield discusses the programme’s third session on indefinite detention, led by the Director of Detention Action.

Modern slavery is insidious

It’s in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the IT we rely on – Bella Lever reflects on the Fellowship Programme’s second session.

From Magna Carta to the 2010 Equality Act – the opening session of 2018’s Fellowship Programme

Lauren Chaplin discusses session one – introductions and a crash course on human rights with Doughty Street barrister and RightsInfo founder Adam Wagner.

Budapest

Budapest – May 2019

Hungary is a country of poignant contradictions – a case study in the challenges of contemporary human rights. e learned about Jewish life and social action in Budapest, and the trip shone a spotlight on Hungary’s Roma community.

What’s the situation in Hungary and what’s it like for minorities? – Friday 24 May 2019

Our second day in Budapest – a deep dive into modern-day Hungary and the lived experiences of marginalised groups

Jewish life and social action in Hungary – Saturday 25 May 2019

Despite Shabbat being ‘the day of rest’, the third day of our trip to Budapest matched the intensity of the others – high.

The Adomanyitaxi (Charity Taxi) Programme – Sunday 26 May 2019

“We were all entirely overcome by the power of the day” – Fellows visit a Hungarian Roma village

Blogs

Where human rights begin – training youth group leaders

On 25 September, René Cassin hosted 30 JLGB volunteers for training on leading human rights education for their groups.

Standing together against hate: the launch of #CutItOut campaign in Parliament

Kate Green MP: “Hatred of one group is hatred of us all.”

Gender equality and modern day slavery: is girl power the answer?

Intern Alice reports on the gendered aspect of modern slavery and suggests possible solutions.

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 meant in theory not to discriminate against disabled people, too often discrimination takes place in practice. By incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) […]

Misogyny as a hate crime: not so fast

Work experience student Mollie writes on the campaign to have misogyny classified as a hate crime

The Rule of Law and Socio-Economic Justice

Professor Geraldine van Bueren argues for a new approach

Climate Change: The Next Great Human Rights Challenge

By Sam Alston In an unprecedented high court case in October 2018, the Dutch government was forced to abandon plans to weaken its carbon reduction targets. The case, first of its kind, depended heavily on human rights law, particularly the right to life (article 2) and the right to a family life (article 8). Since […]

That’s Not a Good Look: Fast Fashion and Modern Slavery

Lauren Chaplin explores whether, six years on from Rana Plaza tragedy, anything has changed.

Immigration Regulations Undermine NRM Despite Reforms

By Jane Kilpatrick Trafficking victim Peter came in contact with @ECPATUK after he ran away from his traffickers, in desperate need of support. In the #UK, the National Referral Mechanism is supposed to help victims, but cases are piling up & Peter is still waiting. #NRMhttps://t.co/1FkTArqIvB — ECPAT International (@ECPAT) January 30, 2019 In October […]

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 be parted from him in their old age.   But when Edith points out to Social Services that this would breach their human right to private […]

As Modern Slavery Starts to Emerge from the Shadows, are we Ready for it?

Will Bordell March was a month of modern slavery data-points – and they’re not as dull as they might sound. Across the board, statistic after statistic shows a steep increase: in referrals, in reporting, in victims, in prosecutions. This isn’t a sign that more modern slavery is happening, but that more is being spotted – […]

South Africa’s Human Rights Day

Josh Alston looks at the role that South African Jews played in the fight against apartheid, and remembers Ruth First’s struggle and sacrifice.

To Advance Women’s Rights, We Must Promote Human Rights

By Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director of René Cassin When Minerva Bernardino from the Dominican Republic, Hansa Mehta from India and Shaista Ikramullah from Pakistan, joined Eleanor Roosevelt to ensure that the idea of women’s right to equality – “equal rights of men and women” – was rightfully incorporated into the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human […]

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 City with his family, four thousand miles from home, survivors of the devastation of European Jewry.  He still has an Austrian accent, still hasn’t been […]

“A thoroughly enjoyable, educational and fulfilling experience”

Yoram Goodman reflects on his internship at René Cassin

The 2nd August – Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

74 years ago today, the Nazis killed 2,897 Roma men, women and children at Auschwitz

Trafficked children in UK “continue to be exploited”

On World Day against Trafficking, Ben Lewis considers children “trapped in their exploitation”.

Shaw Review 2: “The time that many people spend in detention remains deeply troubling”

Stephen Shaw has published his long-awaited second review into UK immigration detention.

2018 Has Seen Our System of Immigration Detention Go from Bad to Worse

Michael Goldin calls for government reforms to an “appalling” system of immigration control.

Modern Slavery Victims and Legal Aid

Ben Cartwright discusses the importance of legal aid for victims of modern slavery.

The Forgotten Human Price of Immigration Detention

Javid wants policy to be fair, respectful and decent. UK policy is none of these.

Modern slavery numbers are increasing – is that to be welcomed?

Aidan Shipman on the latest National Crime Agency figures

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

Protesting at Yarl’s Wood: How Judaism Informs My Activism

By Jess Baker

Women in Hunger Strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

Government criticised over treatment of detainees

The Human Rights Act – protecting the victims of crime

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

Rights, Recovery and Reform – The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill

Lord McColl’s Bill will both help victims and ensure more offenders are prosecuted

‘A Matter of Routine’ – the cruelty and absurdity of indefinite immigration detention

28 day limit and community-based schemes offer more humane alternatives

2018 – Time for a real modern slavery strategy?

Victims of modern slavery deserve a strategy that is more than just a slogan

Diplomats and the Abuse of Domestic Workers

Modern slaves – made to work exploitative hours, but totally dependent on employers

The Fight Against Modern Slavery…

Domestic progress is being undermined by international failures

What have Human Rights got to do with us?

Debora Singer writes movingly about her own family history…

Modern slavery and the media: What we don’t know can hurt us

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Europol and Eurojust – two vital EU agencies in the fight against modern slavery

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Expect more stories of slavery – and demand more victim support

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

More must be done to combat human trafficking in hotels

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

A Tale of Two Countries

Have a read and find out what our brilliant work experience students Soroh, Jessica and Julia, have been doing with us this Summer…

All hate crimes are equal, but some …

It’s time to end ‘hierarchy of hate’ – by equalising sentences for all hate crimes

Freedom – or Freefall?

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

What a human rights hero!

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

Minorities amongst Minorities

Minorities amongst Minorities: The LGBT experience in UK Detention Centres  René Cassin Personal Project Emma Falley July 2017 René Cassin works towards a world where everyone can fully enjoy their human rights. The organisation draws on Jewish experiences and values to make a compelling case for human rights values and to campaign for change. René […]

Simone Veil Obituary

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

‘Inexcusable’ failures in UK’s response to modern slavery

System puts survivors at risk and plays into the hands of abusers

Who is at the centre of Britain’s Modern Slavery Act?

Read our latest blog on modern day slavery

Theresa May says this snap election is about unity

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

Modern Slavery – ‘Human Writes’ essay competition winners

Read the winning entries and what our judge, Joshua Rozenberg, says about them

Reflections on my internship with René Cassin

‘I became enthralled by the topic, as slavery affects so many millions of people around the world, and I know that it is something I will continue to work on in the future.’ Hannah Richter writes about her three months interning with René Cassin. Find out what she got up to below. If you are […]

Anti-Slavery Laws – and why they do not work

Why don’t anti-slavery laws prevent slavery?

Oppressing the stranger – another death in UK detention

There are community-based alternatives to the fatal inhumanity of immigration detention

‘Lost humanity? Vulnerable Women in Detention’

How immigration detention affects women – and what Jewish teaching can tell us

‘A prison in all but name’

This article is published as part of ‘Unlocking Detention’ – an annual ‘virtual’ tour of the UK’s detention estate, which aims to shine a spotlight on one of the gravest civil liberties issues in Britain today. Michael Goldin is an alumni of the René Cassin Fellowship Programme and previously worked for the JCWI. I first […]

“If they are not counted, they don’t count”

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children are significantly overrepresented in the youth criminal justice system. However, the failure to record GRT children in ethnic monitoring processes means that there is no official data on this. Indeed, the lack of data means that this overrepresentation cannot be addressed. As put plainly by the Traveller Times, “if […]

“I hate injustice” – Ruby

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – the 80th anniversary of Cable Street.

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – James Masters writes about the 80th anniversary of Cable Street. For many the date of October 4 1936 is one that has slipped back into the annals of history. For others, it remains a day which will never be forgotten. Now, 80 years on since the […]

The Story of the ‘Refugee People’ is not over yet…

Kezia Niman writes about the indelible link between Jewish history and the refugee crisis

A light has gone out of this world

Alex Goldberg, René Cassin Trustee remembers a personal encounter with Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, who died on 2 July

Disbelief, Confusion and Apprehension

“In these turbulent and uncertain times, we need to hold firm to the values that bind us together as a society. Human rights laws developed in response to tyranny and genocide.Let’s not allow them to become the victims of political agendas” René Cassin Director, Mia Hasenson-Gross, responds to Brexit with a heartfelt personal plea

Latest statistics out on global modern day slavery

How many slaves are there in the UK? Is the UK better or worse than other countries at dealing with trafficking? What type of slavery is most prevalent in the UK? Recent statistics published by the Global Slavery Index paint an interesting picture. Read Zoe Paskett’s report for more detail. You can download Zoe’s thoughts here

Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On 4 May 2016, René Cassin Trustee Alexander Goldberg spoke at the memorial seminar in honour of Clemens Nathan. Clemens was a long time friend and colleague of Monsieur René Cassin. Alex said: “Borne out of the ashes of the Shoah, Clemens … believed that the Declaration was a global attempt to proclaim the imperative ‘never again’. Never again would there be such inhumanity. Never again would a sovereign state be able to claim that it could deprive a minority of life, liberty and fundamental freedoms on the basis of their religion, ethnicity and other characteristics or be able to claim it had done this under law of the land”

From headlines to homes: media coverage and public perception of Europe’s refugee crisis

The lethal policy of immigration detention, defending the Human Rights Act … and much more – read the latest news from René Cassin – in our supporters’ newsletter, 24 February 2016

Just ‘Banter’…

‘Every instance of an ethnic slur, or a stereotype or any other attempt to discriminate against us and push us ‘back to our caravans’ should be vigorously confronted.’ Rachel Bailey writes about the Six Nations Rugby incident between Joe Marler and Samson Lee, in which Marler called Lee a ‘Gypsy Boy’ and told him to […]

40th anniversary since the death of Monsieur René Cassin

40 years ago this Saturday (20th February) the man our organisation is named after, Monsieur René Cassin passed away. Read Catherine O’Neill’s thoughts on his legacy and what her time as a René Cassin intern has taught her:     You can download her thoughts here    

APPG on Refugees meeting

On February 2, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees held a meeting to discuss the UK’s response to the refugee crisis. The meeting, titled “From Damascus to Dunkirk: Responding humanely to refugees at our border,” was packed with activists and community members, with not a single seat left unfilled. The panel consisted of five members: […]

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 at why the Human Rights Act has been good for those with mental health issues and what the ramifications of scrapping the Act would be […]

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 important as ever. Happy Human Rights Day!

Human Rights and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

We consider the ways in which human rights legislation affects Gypsy and Traveller Communities living in England and Wales. It is written in the context of government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. Human Rights legislation protects everyone but especially minorities within society. Any repeal or back-stepping on current protections will leave many groups […]

Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area Download the article here:Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Detention Debate in Parliament

Today, 10th September 2015, Parliament sat down to debate detention for asylum seekers and refugees. Impassioned pleas were made by over 25 MPs, from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party. All MPs who spoke commended the report and called for radical change to the detention system. There was unanimous support for the […]

#UnlockTheDebate – Alternative debate on detention

In Britain, asylum seekers can be held indefinitely in detention centres. This means that people, who have often escaped unthinkable situations to seek refuge in the UK, will not know when they will walk free once again. After being traumatised by war, imprisonment, religious persecution, torture, rape and sexual abuse, these people are trapped once […]

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 have committed crimes. Melissa Goldstein analyses recent cases surrounding Article 8 and finds that UK judges are currently interpreting Article 8 in far narrower terms. Download the […]

Religious Leaders on Immigration Detention: A Force to be Reckoned With

Leaders from René Cassin and Tzelem attended the London Church Refugee Network meeting to discuss interfaith campaigning on indefinite detention. Read more here.

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 to have an upper time limit on detention.

Fear and prejudice here and abroad

Fear and prejudice here and abroad Gay, lesbian and bisexual asylum seekers face discrimination at every step of the process. The already harrowing experience of indefinite detention is worsened when you experience an extra layer of prejudice. The UK must do more to prevent harm coming to people seeking sanctuary on our shores.

Expert panel: How to break the chains of modern slavery?

Breaking the Chains On the 22nd of April, René Cassin was pleased to hear from renowned experts Parosha Chandran and Dr Aidan McQuade to discuss the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the future direction of anti-slavery advocacy. Chaired by Dr Rosa Freedman of Birmingham University and hosted by Berwin Leighton Paisner, the event was a great […]

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 distinguish between serious and trivial human rights. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores how this proposed distinction contradicts the contemporary international understanding of the human […]

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 atrocities in the 20th century. The UK was one of the first countries to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by enacting the […]

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle There is a significant discord between the number of immigrants detained in the UK and that reflected by the official Home Office figure. This is because government statistics arbitrarily ignore an entire class of immigrant detainees: those held in Prison Service Establishments. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores the implications […]

Equal Rights for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

They go by a variety of names – Romani Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Roma – but together they constitute Europe’s largest ethnic minority and they share a history of persecution with Jewish people.

Both communities have suffered centuries of racist hostility. Both were targeted by the Nazis during World War II.

Today, Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have greater difficulties finding shelter, going to school and visiting the doctor. This has severe consequences – life expectancy for a Romani Gypsy or Irish Traveller is 10 years less than the UK average.

Some progress has been made – but the UK has failed to comply fully with its international legal obligations

The European Court of Human Rights has held that the UK has a ‘positive obligation’ under Article 8 (right to private & family life) of the European Convention to help these groups preserve their traditional way of life.

But the UK’s actions during the 2011 Dale Farm eviction were described as ‘immature and unwise’ by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, because they would ‘disproportionately affect the lives of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families, particularly women, children and older people’.

We are training faith leaders across the country on how to recognize and react to discrimination against the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. You can read their joint statement ‘An Interfaith Challenge to Racism’ here. This project won an Interfaith award and was commended by the Prime Minister.

Get in touch if you want to add your name to the statement or to read more about how to respond to discrimination in the media use our Media Response Toolkit.

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day 2019

Members of the Jewish community gathered at Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial to show solidarity with members of the Roma community for Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

Jewish Community urges Govt to protect right to home for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

A cross denomination of Rabbis and community organisations have signed our letter to @ukhomeoffice to express our concern over discrimination and racism targeted towards Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK. pic.twitter.com/6Me47iBHC7 — René Cassin (@Rene_Cassin) March 5, 2019 A cross-denominational group of Rabbis and community leaders have signed René Cassin’s letter to the […]

We Must Call Out Prejudice

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities together constitute Europe’s largest ethnic minority and they share a history of persecution with Jewish people. Recent studies have shown that GRT communities experience more racism and discrimination than any other group in the UK and face multiple disadvantages, such as with regards to education, health, the workplace and […]

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

On 2nd of August, representatives of the Jewish community joined with the Roma community to mark Roma Genocide Remembrance day. Standing at the Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park, Grattan Puxon, Roma rights campaigner, stressed the importance of commemorating the murder of hundreds and thousands of Roma people during the Holocaust. Other Roma representatives highlighted the disgraceful treatment of Roma […]

René Cassin makes submission to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hate Crime.

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

Hate Crime – Jewish and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities unite

Landmark meeting on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Submission to Parliamentary Inquiry into Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Inequality

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the Parliamentary Women and Equality Select Committee’s inquiry into ‘tackling Gypsy, Roma and Traveller inequalities’. René Cassin’s submission highlights that the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities still face high levels of discrimination in nearly all areas of public life including health, education and housing.   You can download the […]

“If they are not counted, they don’t count”

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children are significantly overrepresented in the youth criminal justice system. However, the failure to record GRT children in ethnic monitoring processes means that there is no official data on this. Indeed, the lack of data means that this overrepresentation cannot be addressed. As put plainly by the Traveller Times, “if […]

National Hate Crime Awareness Week, 8 to 15 October

We are highlighting the problem of hate crime against Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities

#OperationReportHate

We are proud to support the Traveller Movement with the #OperationReportHate campaign

René Cassin submits evidence to Hate Crime Inquiry

“There is no place for hate” René Cassin’s director tells Home Affairs Select Committee’s inquiry.

Just ‘Banter’…

‘Every instance of an ethnic slur, or a stereotype or any other attempt to discriminate against us and push us ‘back to our caravans’ should be vigorously confronted.’ Rachel Bailey writes about the Six Nations Rugby incident between Joe Marler and Samson Lee, in which Marler called Lee a ‘Gypsy Boy’ and told him to […]

‘Some are more equal than others…’

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area: ‘Some are more equal than others…’

A ‘lose-lose’ situation

  The Government recently published the Housing and Planning Bill which contains measures that will remove the duty on local authorities to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers for the purposes of planning for Traveller sites. The move will also get rid of the only piece of legislation that recognises Gypsies’ and Travellers’ […]

Is Britain Fairer?’ – not for some, new report reveals

In the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection in Britain, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) today reveals ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ over the past five years. Jewish human rights charity René Cassin, which campaigns on issues that resonate with Jewish historical experience – such as […]

Human Rights and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

We consider the ways in which human rights legislation affects Gypsy and Traveller Communities living in England and Wales. It is written in the context of government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. Human Rights legislation protects everyone but especially minorities within society. Any repeal or back-stepping on current protections will leave many groups […]

Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area Download the article here:Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Government introduces “discriminatory” planning policy for Traveller sites

A report from the Traveller Movement has highlighted the harmful, troublesome and at times discriminatory effects of a new planning policy introduced in late August. The policy does not acknowledge that a Gypsy or Traveller who stops travelling permanently, even for the reasons of education, health or old age, is eligible to apply for planning […]

Faith leaders meet at roundtable on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Rights

Interfaith Roundtable Summary Faith leaders from a wide range of religions and denominations came together on the 15th of April to discuss the problems faced by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in the UK. They gained a fascinating insight into the severe and institutionalised discrimination experienced by these groups, with community activists, legal experts and academics also […]

René Cassin wins an award and commendation from the Prime Minister

René Cassin has been honoured during Interfaith week by FaithAction for our work with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. Read what Prime Minister David Cameron has to say about it here.

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‘Human writes’

René Cassin’s 2019 ‘Human Writes’ Essay Competition now open!

“Social media: friend or foe of human rights?” – deadline 11 November 2019

Winner announced in René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ essay competition

Joshua Rozenberg finds winning essay “… a convincing thesis and a pleasure to read”.

René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ essay competition now open!

Deadline Tuesday 8 May

Modern Slavery – ‘Human Writes’ Essay Competition now open!

***deadline – 6 Feb*** “The great human rights issue of our time”. Do you agree?

The René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ 2015 Essay Competition – results

We asked ‘Religion and human rights – compatible or conflicting?’ Danny Finkelstein, Associate Editor of The Times judged the shortlisted entries. His verdict: “These were all very good essays, a credit to their writers and to the prize.

Read the winning and shortlisted essays and what Danny says about them.

The René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ Essay Competition

“Religion and human rights – compatible or conflicting?” Every year René Cassin runs an essay competition to get people thinking about important human rights issues. This year we tackle the two concepts at the core of our organisation; religion and human rights. Do you have an interest in human rights and would like the opportunity […]

Sessions

Campaigning 101 with Barry Sheerman MP

Fellow Lauren Chaplin reflect on the programme’s 6th session: Parliamentary Lobbying and Campaigning Seatbelts. Those ubiquitous details of the commute, the school run, the long drive to see family. We use them every day – but it wasn’t always that way. Parliamentary initiatives to make the use of seatbelts compulsory failed on successive occasions, until […]

Discrimination & hate crime – issues uniting Jews and Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

Fellow Talia Blank reflects on the programme’s fourth session on discrimination and hate crime – “in 2016 – 2017, 80,000 hate crimes were recorded by the Police in England and Wales”…

Asylum, refuge & detention

Samantha Linfield discusses the programme’s third session on indefinite detention, led by the Director of Detention Action.

Modern slavery is insidious

It’s in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the IT we rely on – Bella Lever reflects on the Fellowship Programme’s second session.

From Magna Carta to the 2010 Equality Act – the opening session of 2018’s Fellowship Programme

Lauren Chaplin discusses session one – introductions and a crash course on human rights with Doughty Street barrister and RightsInfo founder Adam Wagner.

2017 Cohort

Our 2017 René Cassin Fellows

This year we have six brilliant Fellows examining human rights through a Jewish lens.

Budapest 2017 – Roma fashions shows and inspiring activists

Our 2017 René Cassin Fellows recently returned from a trip to Budapest, where refugees, Roma and sexual minorities are under attack from Hungary’s nationalist government.

Sessions

Life in Hungary Under the Nazis

By Jeffrey Newman For me, this was the session when the Fellowship first began to ‘gel’. Partially this is the result of the number of meetings and the time in the Pub, but more it was the open human approach of Marta whose warmth and personal story allowed us to connect with her and therefore […]

Fighting Hate Crime and Discrimination: The Jewish Standpoint

Learn about the takeaways from our latest session by one of our Fellows

Reflection on Session Three: Immigration Detention

by Mo Makin The topic of discussion for this session was immigration detention. Immigration always seems to be in the News. Politicians and journalists are mostly seen questioning how much immigration the UK has? What type of immigrants are coming and where those immigrants are from? I feel that because the majority of focus on […]

Reflections on Session Two Modern Slavery

By Josh Vuglar Am I not a man and a brother? From the story of the oppression of the Jews in Egypt as told in the Book of Exodus, to the brutality of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery often seems something distant and remote. A horror consigned to history forever more. Yet, slavery persists and […]

Reflections on Session One

By Claudia Hyde The 2019 René Cassin-AJA Fellowship Programme kicked off on 29 January 2019 with the inaugural session, where we were introduced to each other and to the themes of the programme. With eight participants, this year’s cohort is benefiting from a diverse range of experiences and professional backgrounds, which include public health, rabbinical […]

Genocide

The period of Nazi power, from 1933-1945, was calamitous for Europe’s Jews.

Hitler’s overt anti-Semitism had won him the votes and admiration of millions in Germany and in many of the countries it occupied such as Poland. He rapidly reintroduced discriminatory policies against the Jews, then planned and put into effect the ‘Final Solution’, a dramatic attempt to answer the ‘Jewish Question’ first posed during the French Revolution. The result was slave labour, detention in concentration camps and catastrophic loss of life. Over six million Jews, as well as many other undesirable üntermenschen were murdered, including LGBT, disabled, and 500,000 Romani Gypsies.

How could the Nazis get so close to success in their plans for genocide?

Raphael Lemkin, who first coined the word ‘genocide’, was able, using his library of Nazi documents, to describe the process:

The first step was denationalisation, making individuals stateless by severing the link of nationality between Jews and the state, so as to limit the protection of the law.

This was followed by dehumanisation, removing legal rights from members of the targeted group.

The third step was to kill the nation ‘in a spiritual and cultural sense.’ Jews were forced to register, wear a distinctive badge, then move into designated areas, ghettos.

Seizure of property, the fourth step, rendered the group ‘destitute’ and ‘dependent on rationing’. Decrees limited rations of carbohydrates and proteins, reducing the members of the group to ‘living corpses’.

Spirits broken, individuals became ‘apathetic to their own lives’, subjected to forced labour that cause many deaths, and to further measures of dehumanization and disintegration as they were left to await the ‘hour of execution’.

(from Philippe Sand’s summary of Raphael Lemkin’s analysis of Nazi Method, East-West Street (2017))

Xinjiang – “never again” is happening again

René Cassin Submission to Parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion and human rights defenders

Jewish Action Against Persecution of Uyghurs

Inspired to act? Here’s what you can do to oppose the persecution of Uyghurs.

Never Again? A Jewish response to the Uyghur crisis

This René Cassin event examines religious persecution in China – Thursday 9 May, 7-8.30pm

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

Sudan Update: Bashir Sweeps Election

Bashir Sweeps Sudanese Elections Omar al-Bashir has extended his quarter-century rule of Sudan after a dubiously run election that saw him win 94 percent of the presidential vote, and his National Congress Party win 323 of 426 parliamentary seats. The international community must not forget the victims of genocide, and an ICC warrant for his arrest […]

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, 27 January 2015, is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

René Cassin believes that one of the most critical legacies of the Holocaust is the understanding that the fight against human rights violations will never end, and that we as a society must be vigilant to any erosion of our human rights …

News

Where human rights begin – training youth group leaders

On 25 September, René Cassin hosted 30 JLGB volunteers for training on leading human rights education for their groups.

Standing together against hate: the launch of #CutItOut campaign in Parliament

Kate Green MP: “Hatred of one group is hatred of us all.”

Today, on Anti-Slavery Day we are focussing on those small, often unnoticed, places, close to home, where human rights begin

Slavery is not history. It would be comforting to think that it ended with William Wilberforce’s Abolition Act in 1833. But it didn’t. It is here and it is now. A thoroughly modern manifestation of heartless exploitation and human misery. All happening today, right under our noses. No wonder Theresa May called it ‘the great […]

René Cassin and the Traveller Movement launch a new anti-hate speech campaign calling for more respectful language in politics

On Wednesday the 16 of October, René Cassin and the Traveller Movement will launch a new anti-hate speech campaign. The #Cut It Out campaign aims to tackle hate speech and inflammatory rhetoric in politics against ethnic minorities or religious groups. By cutting out words that show who the hate is being directed at, we reveal […]

Gender equality and modern day slavery: is girl power the answer?

Intern Alice reports on the gendered aspect of modern slavery and suggests possible solutions.

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 meant in theory not to discriminate against disabled people, too often discrimination takes place in practice. By incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) […]

Past tragedy, present trouble & future hope – holding on to human rights – newsletter 29 August 2019

Remembering the Roma GenocideRefugee Week … China’s repression of Muslim minoritiesSocio-economic justice … RC Fellows in Budapest … and the latest on our events

Misogyny as a hate crime: not so fast

Work experience student Mollie writes on the campaign to have misogyny classified as a hate crime

CST Report Finds Shocking Increase in Antisemitism

New report finds that antisemitism is still on the rise, breaking record numbers this year.

The Rule of Law and Socio-Economic Justice

Professor Geraldine van Bueren argues for a new approach

Climate Change: The Next Great Human Rights Challenge

By Sam Alston In an unprecedented high court case in October 2018, the Dutch government was forced to abandon plans to weaken its carbon reduction targets. The case, first of its kind, depended heavily on human rights law, particularly the right to life (article 2) and the right to a family life (article 8). Since […]

European Elections Statement

It’s election time! The right to vote, set out in Protocol 1, Article 3 of the Human Rights Act, is a vital prerequisite for a democratic society. We therefore urge everyone to use their democratic human right and vote in the European Elections today. Making a Stand Against Hate Across Europe we are seeing a […]

That’s Not a Good Look: Fast Fashion and Modern Slavery

Lauren Chaplin explores whether, six years on from Rana Plaza tragedy, anything has changed.

Immigration Regulations Undermine NRM Despite Reforms

By Jane Kilpatrick Trafficking victim Peter came in contact with @ECPATUK after he ran away from his traffickers, in desperate need of support. In the #UK, the National Referral Mechanism is supposed to help victims, but cases are piling up & Peter is still waiting. #NRMhttps://t.co/1FkTArqIvB — ECPAT International (@ECPAT) January 30, 2019 In October […]

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 be parted from him in their old age.   But when Edith points out to Social Services that this would breach their human right to private […]

As Modern Slavery Starts to Emerge from the Shadows, are we Ready for it?

Will Bordell March was a month of modern slavery data-points – and they’re not as dull as they might sound. Across the board, statistic after statistic shows a steep increase: in referrals, in reporting, in victims, in prosecutions. This isn’t a sign that more modern slavery is happening, but that more is being spotted – […]

South Africa’s Human Rights Day

Josh Alston looks at the role that South African Jews played in the fight against apartheid, and remembers Ruth First’s struggle and sacrifice.

Making the Jewish case for Human Rights, in ‘small places, close to home’ – newsletter 13 March 2019

Updates on our Jewish Human Rights Heroes event … our ‘Making the Jewish case for Human Rights’ publication … latest campaigning news … profiling activist Debora Singer … and notice of new events in May and September

International Women’s Day 2019

Today is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating how far we have come in securing women’s rights, but also for thinking about all those who have been left behind. Despite Eleanor Roosevelts affirmation that human rights begin “in small places, close to home”, so too do discrimination and violence against women. The current UK […]

To Advance Women’s Rights, We Must Promote Human Rights

By Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director of René Cassin When Minerva Bernardino from the Dominican Republic, Hansa Mehta from India and Shaista Ikramullah from Pakistan, joined Eleanor Roosevelt to ensure that the idea of women’s right to equality – “equal rights of men and women” – was rightfully incorporated into the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human […]

Jewish Community urges Govt to protect right to home for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

A cross denomination of Rabbis and community organisations have signed our letter to @ukhomeoffice to express our concern over discrimination and racism targeted towards Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK. pic.twitter.com/6Me47iBHC7 — René Cassin (@Rene_Cassin) March 5, 2019 A cross-denominational group of Rabbis and community leaders have signed René Cassin’s letter to the […]

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

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 City with his family, four thousand miles from home, survivors of the devastation of European Jewry.  He still has an Austrian accent, still hasn’t been […]

Celebrating Nelson Mandela’s “sudden ray of hope” – newsletter 14 November 2018

Events to mark 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights … ‘Sunrise, not Sunset’ film shows how the Human Rights Act helps ordinary people in everyday situationsremembering the Roma Holocaust … latest campaigning on modern slavery and indefinite immigration detention

Meet the 70 year old safeguarding human dignity around the world – newsletter 27 July 2018

Celebrating ‘the Magna Carta for all humanity’ … on the front line of human rights defence – René Cassin in Budapest … remembering the Roma victims of the Holocaust … demanding an end to indefinite immigration detention

“A thoroughly enjoyable, educational and fulfilling experience”

Yoram Goodman reflects on his internship at René Cassin

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

On 2nd of August, representatives of the Jewish community joined with the Roma community to mark Roma Genocide Remembrance day. Standing at the Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park, Grattan Puxon, Roma rights campaigner, stressed the importance of commemorating the murder of hundreds and thousands of Roma people during the Holocaust. Other Roma representatives highlighted the disgraceful treatment of Roma […]

The 2nd August – Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

74 years ago today, the Nazis killed 2,897 Roma men, women and children at Auschwitz

Trafficked children in UK “continue to be exploited”

On World Day against Trafficking, Ben Lewis considers children “trapped in their exploitation”.

Shaw Review 2: “The time that many people spend in detention remains deeply troubling”

Stephen Shaw has published his long-awaited second review into UK immigration detention.

Passionate about human rights? Fundraising experience? – join us as a Trustee

As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there has never been a more important time to get involved in our work.

2018 Has Seen Our System of Immigration Detention Go from Bad to Worse

Michael Goldin calls for government reforms to an “appalling” system of immigration control.

Modern Slavery Victims and Legal Aid

Ben Cartwright discusses the importance of legal aid for victims of modern slavery.

The Forgotten Human Price of Immigration Detention

Javid wants policy to be fair, respectful and decent. UK policy is none of these.

US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council – we need politicians to keep talking

Responding to the United States’ decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, said today: Lasting solutions to the many serious abuses of human rights worldwide will only be tackled by nations sitting down and talking – and, yes, often arguing – about the issues. Like any human […]

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.

Modern slavery numbers are increasing – is that to be welcomed?

Aidan Shipman on the latest National Crime Agency figures

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

Solidarity as a Jewish Value: Why René Cassin is Setting up a Jewish Visitors Group

Interested in supporting someone in immigration detention? We want to hear from you!

EU Withdrawal Bill Update

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

Protesting at Yarl’s Wood: How Judaism Informs My Activism

By Jess Baker

‘The Windrush Generation’ – statement by René Cassin

The Government must provide adequate resources to confirm the secure immigration status of all affected

Women in Hunger Strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

Government criticised over treatment of detainees

A Human Rights milestone – newsletter 7 March 2018

Celebrating & Remembering – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70, progress on modern slavery, latest human rights readings and … introducing Hannah Swirsky, our new Campaigns Manager

The Human Rights Act – protecting the victims of crime

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

Rights, Recovery and Reform – The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill

Lord McColl’s Bill will both help victims and ensure more offenders are prosecuted

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

‘A Matter of Routine’ – the cruelty and absurdity of indefinite immigration detention

28 day limit and community-based schemes offer more humane alternatives

2018 – Time for a real modern slavery strategy?

Victims of modern slavery deserve a strategy that is more than just a slogan

Diplomats and the Abuse of Domestic Workers

Modern slaves – made to work exploitative hours, but totally dependent on employers

René Cassin Goes Live – Immigration Detention Discussion

Our Campaigns Manager, Sam Grant, took 30 minutes to discuss the issue of Immigration Detention with Jeneration Students. Have a listen to Sam discussing what René Cassin do, what Immigration Detention is and what the Jewish community can do about it. Live with Sam Grant from René Cassin – What can the Jewish community do […]

‘Why We Must All Fight Slavery’ – Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

‘It is likely that every one of us has unwittingly encountered and perhaps even benefited from modern-day slavery.’ – Chief Rabbi Mirvis On the 10th December 1948, 69 years ago, our namesake Monsieur René Cassin helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every year we mark the closest Shabbat to that day with Human […]

Will the Government keep its Brexit promise on human rights? – newsletter 29 November 2017

The EU Withdrawal Bill was supposed to be a ‘copy & paste’ job. But human rights were very nearly ‘cut & trashed’. Hear how we put the Shadow Brexit Secretary ‘through his paces’. And when Kevin met Ephraim – how René Cassin brought the Slavery Commissioner and the Chief Rabbi together to discuss the scourge of modern day slavery.

Human Rights Shabbat 5778 Resources

On International Human Rights Day – René Cassin shines a light on modern slavery

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

The Fight Against Modern Slavery…

Domestic progress is being undermined by international failures

Human Rights Thought for the Week

Connecting each portion of the Torah to human rights

What have Human Rights got to do with us?

Debora Singer writes movingly about her own family history…

“I cried from joy” – RSY-Netzer raises £350 to support survivors of human trafficking

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Modern slavery and the media: What we don’t know can hurt us

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

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

Sign up for Human Rights Shabbat 5778!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

Europol and Eurojust – two vital EU agencies in the fight against modern slavery

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Abuse in Detention is a Symptom of a Wider Problem

In response to an upcoming BBC Panorama undercover documentary examining immigration detention, G4S have suspended nine members of staff pending abuse allegations. You can read their statement here. The mistreatment is being condemned by politicians and civil society.  However, the problems go much deeper than just nine members of staff. The immigration detention system is […]

Expect more stories of slavery – and demand more victim support

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

More must be done to combat human trafficking in hotels

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

A Tale of Two Countries

Have a read and find out what our brilliant work experience students Soroh, Jessica and Julia, have been doing with us this Summer…

Where now for human rights? – newsletter 20 July 2017

Our future-gazing roundtable with Times columnist David Aaronovitch, Keir Starmer in Conversation, the Fellowship Programme visits Budapest – plus a round-up of all the latest news

Where now for Human Rights?

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

All hate crimes are equal, but some …

It’s time to end ‘hierarchy of hate’ – by equalising sentences for all hate crimes

Freedom – or Freefall?

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

What a human rights hero!

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

Minorities amongst Minorities

Minorities amongst Minorities: The LGBT experience in UK Detention Centres  René Cassin Personal Project Emma Falley July 2017 René Cassin works towards a world where everyone can fully enjoy their human rights. The organisation draws on Jewish experiences and values to make a compelling case for human rights values and to campaign for change. René […]

Simone Veil Obituary

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

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

‘Inexcusable’ failures in UK’s response to modern slavery

System puts survivors at risk and plays into the hands of abusers

Who is at the centre of Britain’s Modern Slavery Act?

Read our latest blog on modern day slavery

Theresa May says this snap election is about unity

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

Brexit – human rights are vital to a successful transition

Human rights allow prosperity, peace and freedom to flourish

So, we wrote to the Prime Minister … newsletter 23 March 2017

We ask Theresa May to reconsider her desire to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights – plus a round-up of all our latest campaigns

Hate Crime – Jewish and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities unite

Landmark meeting on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Modern Slavery – ‘Human Writes’ essay competition winners

Read the winning entries and what our judge, Joshua Rozenberg, says about them

Reflections on my internship with René Cassin

‘I became enthralled by the topic, as slavery affects so many millions of people around the world, and I know that it is something I will continue to work on in the future.’ Hannah Richter writes about her three months interning with René Cassin. Find out what she got up to below. If you are […]

Anti-Slavery Laws – and why they do not work

Why don’t anti-slavery laws prevent slavery?

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

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

‘Cruel and Disproportionate’

In response to Donald Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim countries, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, commented: “Donald Trump’s ‘refugee ban’ is cruel, disproportionate and runs counter to international humanitarian law. René Cassin agree with broad swathes of civil society condemning Trump for his actions. The fact that this ban was announced on […]

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

Oppressing the stranger – another death in UK detention

There are community-based alternatives to the fatal inhumanity of immigration detention

It’s not all gloom and doom – newsletter 22 December 2016

2016 has been an unsettling year for human rights – but there are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic – and many ways you can help us keep the flame of human rights alight.

René Cassin @Limmud #RefugeeDay

Find out about René Cassin’s refugee-themed day at Limmud Conference 2016

Our Biggest Human Rights Shabbat to Date!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

Government backtracks on 500% fee increases in Immigration Tribunals

René Cassin is pleased that the Government has reversed the 500% court fees increase in the immigration tribunal. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, previously said that the massive hike in costs would ‘result in justice being delayed and denied to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.’ It was announced that  fees […]

‘Lost humanity? Vulnerable Women in Detention’

How immigration detention affects women – and what Jewish teaching can tell us

‘A prison in all but name’

This article is published as part of ‘Unlocking Detention’ – an annual ‘virtual’ tour of the UK’s detention estate, which aims to shine a spotlight on one of the gravest civil liberties issues in Britain today. Michael Goldin is an alumni of the René Cassin Fellowship Programme and previously worked for the JCWI. I first […]

Human Rights Shabbat 5777 Resource Pack

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

“If they are not counted, they don’t count”

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children are significantly overrepresented in the youth criminal justice system. However, the failure to record GRT children in ethnic monitoring processes means that there is no official data on this. Indeed, the lack of data means that this overrepresentation cannot be addressed. As put plainly by the Traveller Times, “if […]

“I hate injustice” – Ruby

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

Today (18th October) is UK Anti-Slavery Day

‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude’ – Universal Declaration 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

National Hate Crime Awareness Week, 8 to 15 October

We are highlighting the problem of hate crime against Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 29 September 2016

Defending the Human RIghts Act after the Brexit vote; Free asylum workshops; Speaking out against Hate Crime – and Jewish New Year greetings from Director, Mia Hasenson-Gross

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – the 80th anniversary of Cable Street.

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – James Masters writes about the 80th anniversary of Cable Street. For many the date of October 4 1936 is one that has slipped back into the annals of history. For others, it remains a day which will never be forgotten. Now, 80 years on since the […]

How will your community mark Human Rights Shabbat on 10th December?

René Cassin have run the ‘Human Rights Shabbat’ programme for the past eight years. Human Rights Shabbat falls on the nearest Shabbat to World Human Rights Day. This year that is on the 10th December. It’s an opportunity for every Jewish community in the UK to engage with the issue of human rights. You can have a […]

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 to review their domestic human rights situation, and set recommendations for future progress. In our submission, René Cassin raised four main issues for the UK […]

Asylum Workshops – November 8th & 15th

Want to help people through the asylum system? Find out how at these free workshops

Slavery Chief Warns of Modern Day Slavery Exploitation of Asylum Seekers

Kevin Hyland, the UK’s anti-slavery commissioner has written a letter to Theresa May highlighting that delayed efforts to provide asylum to unaccompanied child refugees in Calais exposes these children to the risk of modern slavery and exploitation. The letter comes shortly after Theresa May pledged millions of pounds to tackle the issue of modern day slavery. Kevin Hyland […]

500% court fee increase to go ahead despite opposition

The Government has announced that plans to implement increases of up to 500% in court fees for immigration and asylum cases will go ahead, despite all but five of 147 responses from the Government consultation opposing the move. René Cassin submitted evidence raising serious concerns around access to justice. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, responded […]

René Cassin submits evidence to Hate Crime Inquiry

“There is no place for hate” René Cassin’s director tells Home Affairs Select Committee’s inquiry.

The Story of the ‘Refugee People’ is not over yet…

Kezia Niman writes about the indelible link between Jewish history and the refugee crisis

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

A light has gone out of this world

Alex Goldberg, René Cassin Trustee remembers a personal encounter with Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, who died on 2 July

Disbelief, Confusion and Apprehension

“In these turbulent and uncertain times, we need to hold firm to the values that bind us together as a society. Human rights laws developed in response to tyranny and genocide.Let’s not allow them to become the victims of political agendas” René Cassin Director, Mia Hasenson-Gross, responds to Brexit with a heartfelt personal plea

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 2 June 2016

Good news on asylum, the fight to save the Human Rights Act and much more – read the latest round-up of René Cassin’s work in our supporters’ newsletter, 2 June 2016

Latest statistics out on global modern day slavery

How many slaves are there in the UK? Is the UK better or worse than other countries at dealing with trafficking? What type of slavery is most prevalent in the UK? Recent statistics published by the Global Slavery Index paint an interesting picture. Read Zoe Paskett’s report for more detail. You can download Zoe’s thoughts here

Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On 4 May 2016, René Cassin Trustee Alexander Goldberg spoke at the memorial seminar in honour of Clemens Nathan. Clemens was a long time friend and colleague of Monsieur René Cassin. Alex said: “Borne out of the ashes of the Shoah, Clemens … believed that the Declaration was a global attempt to proclaim the imperative ‘never again’. Never again would there be such inhumanity. Never again would a sovereign state be able to claim that it could deprive a minority of life, liberty and fundamental freedoms on the basis of their religion, ethnicity and other characteristics or be able to claim it had done this under law of the land”

From headlines to homes: media coverage and public perception of Europe’s refugee crisis

The lethal policy of immigration detention, defending the Human Rights Act … and much more – read the latest news from René Cassin – in our supporters’ newsletter, 24 February 2016

Just ‘Banter’…

‘Every instance of an ethnic slur, or a stereotype or any other attempt to discriminate against us and push us ‘back to our caravans’ should be vigorously confronted.’ Rachel Bailey writes about the Six Nations Rugby incident between Joe Marler and Samson Lee, in which Marler called Lee a ‘Gypsy Boy’ and told him to […]

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 24 February 2016

The lethal policy of immigration detention, defending the Human Rights Act … and much more – read the latest news from René Cassin – in our supporters’ newsletter, 24 February 2016

40th anniversary since the death of Monsieur René Cassin

40 years ago this Saturday (20th February) the man our organisation is named after, Monsieur René Cassin passed away. Read Catherine O’Neill’s thoughts on his legacy and what her time as a René Cassin intern has taught her:     You can download her thoughts here    

APPG on Refugees meeting

On February 2, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees held a meeting to discuss the UK’s response to the refugee crisis. The meeting, titled “From Damascus to Dunkirk: Responding humanely to refugees at our border,” was packed with activists and community members, with not a single seat left unfilled. The panel consisted of five members: […]

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 at why the Human Rights Act has been good for those with mental health issues and what the ramifications of scrapping the Act would be […]

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 important as ever. Happy Human Rights Day!

Response to Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference

René Cassin was deeply concerned by the rhetoric and proposed plans set forward in the Home Secretary’s speech.

Human Rights and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

We consider the ways in which human rights legislation affects Gypsy and Traveller Communities living in England and Wales. It is written in the context of government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. Human Rights legislation protects everyone but especially minorities within society. Any repeal or back-stepping on current protections will leave many groups […]

Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area Download the article here:Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Detention Debate in Parliament

Today, 10th September 2015, Parliament sat down to debate detention for asylum seekers and refugees. Impassioned pleas were made by over 25 MPs, from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party. All MPs who spoke commended the report and called for radical change to the detention system. There was unanimous support for the […]

#UnlockTheDebate – Alternative debate on detention

In Britain, asylum seekers can be held indefinitely in detention centres. This means that people, who have often escaped unthinkable situations to seek refuge in the UK, will not know when they will walk free once again. After being traumatised by war, imprisonment, religious persecution, torture, rape and sexual abuse, these people are trapped once […]

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 have committed crimes. Melissa Goldstein analyses recent cases surrounding Article 8 and finds that UK judges are currently interpreting Article 8 in far narrower terms. Download the […]

Religious Leaders on Immigration Detention: A Force to be Reckoned With

Leaders from René Cassin and Tzelem attended the London Church Refugee Network meeting to discuss interfaith campaigning on indefinite detention. Read more here.

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 to have an upper time limit on detention.

Fear and prejudice here and abroad

Fear and prejudice here and abroad Gay, lesbian and bisexual asylum seekers face discrimination at every step of the process. The already harrowing experience of indefinite detention is worsened when you experience an extra layer of prejudice. The UK must do more to prevent harm coming to people seeking sanctuary on our shores.

Expert panel: How to break the chains of modern slavery?

Breaking the Chains On the 22nd of April, René Cassin was pleased to hear from renowned experts Parosha Chandran and Dr Aidan McQuade to discuss the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the future direction of anti-slavery advocacy. Chaired by Dr Rosa Freedman of Birmingham University and hosted by Berwin Leighton Paisner, the event was a great […]

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 distinguish between serious and trivial human rights. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores how this proposed distinction contradicts the contemporary international understanding of the human […]

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 atrocities in the 20th century. The UK was one of the first countries to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by enacting the […]

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle There is a significant discord between the number of immigrants detained in the UK and that reflected by the official Home Office figure. This is because government statistics arbitrarily ignore an entire class of immigrant detainees: those held in Prison Service Establishments. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores the implications […]

Statement on attacks in Paris – 7 January 2015

René Cassin is shocked by the murders that took place last week. We have a particular connection to these dreadful events. We hope and believe that the human virtues of tolerance and respect will triumph over hatred and suspicion …

2015 Cohort

Meet the 2015 René Cassin Fellows

Read the biographies of our 2015 Fellows from the UK, USA and Israel.

2015 Budapest Study Tour

In June 2015, we took a party of young professionals from the UK, US and Israel to Budapest to learn about human rights from a Jewish perspective.

Uncategorized

Sponsoring Agencies

René Cassin is a London-based non-profit organisation that uses the historical Jewish experience and positive Jewish values to campaign and educate on universal human rights issues such as discrimination, detention and genocide. The organisation is named in honour of Monsieur René Cassin, a French Jew and Nobel Laureate who was one of the principal co-drafters […]

Internship opportunities

René Cassin offers internship opportunities throughout the year.   Internship descriptions vary but may include desk research, drafting documents, assisting with event planning, communications and PR, data analysis, liaising with current and prospective donors, developing educational resources and programmes and engaging in advocacy efforts. Internships are generally unpaid. Internships provide direct exposure to the workings […]

Submission made to independent review of ODW visas

René Cassin Submission to ODW Review Overseas domestic workers in the UK are especially vulnerable to abuse, as they may not speak English, may not have knowledge of their rights, and have limited access to justice. Tying workers to their employers fosters labour and criminal abuse and must be opposed. René Cassin advocates reform of […]

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 distinguish between serious and trivial human rights. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores how this proposed distinction contradicts the contemporary international understanding of the human […]

Joint Letter on Responsibility To Protect

Last week René Cassin, together with a number of civil society organisations, took part in a joint initiative calling for all UK political parties to maintain commitment to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and atrocity prevention.   We are deeply disturbed by the on-going conflicts in the Central African Republic, Syria, Iraq, Burma and North […]

Join our team

We are currently recruiting a new Director to lead René Cassin on its journey to become the pre-eminent Jewish human rights organisation. René Cassin seeks Director to drive exciting new phase Are you interested in leading a small but highly effective and forward looking London-based NGO as it continues on its journey to become a leader […]

You can call on party leaders to champion human rights

From the landmark Magna Carta to helping draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UK has worked hard to create the international standards that protect millions of people worldwide. However, questions over the future of human rights here in the UK threaten to tarnish that reputation. We’re asking members of the public to show […]

Slavery and Trafficking

Slavery is not history. It calls to mind images of the Israelites in Egypt or the trans-Atlantic trade. But it is here and it is now – in the UK today there are as many as 136,000 victims of slavery or trafficking

Modern slavery exists in many forms – including forced labour, forced marriage and human trafficking. Although it is illegal in most countries where it is practised, and prohibited by a multitude of international laws and conventions, there are more enslaved people in the world today than at any point in history. And it is not only a scourge of the developing world – around 136,000 people here in the UK are victims of slavery or trafficking.

Slavery and trafficking are unavoidably connected to Jewish experience

Particularly during the festival of Pesach, Jewish people remember the pain of slavery. As we celebrate our freedom, we should remember the countless people around the world, including here in the UK, who do not share our good fortune.

Making slavery history – René Cassin’s work in the UK

We work to raise awareness of the problem of modern slavery in the Jewish community.

Today, on Anti-Slavery Day we are focussing on those small, often unnoticed, places, close to home, where human rights begin

Slavery is not history. It would be comforting to think that it ended with William Wilberforce’s Abolition Act in 1833. But it didn’t. It is here and it is now. A thoroughly modern manifestation of heartless exploitation and human misery. All happening today, right under our noses. No wonder Theresa May called it ‘the great […]

Modern Slavery and Homelessness Workshops

Sign up for our free evening workshops on 6th and 13th November 2019

Gender equality and modern day slavery: is girl power the answer?

Intern Alice reports on the gendered aspect of modern slavery and suggests possible solutions.

County lines – the child criminal exploitation on our doorsteps

Ben Lewis reports on an often missed aspect of child exploitation in the UK

That’s Not a Good Look: Fast Fashion and Modern Slavery

Lauren Chaplin explores whether, six years on from Rana Plaza tragedy, anything has changed.

Immigration Regulations Undermine NRM Despite Reforms

By Jane Kilpatrick Trafficking victim Peter came in contact with @ECPATUK after he ran away from his traffickers, in desperate need of support. In the #UK, the National Referral Mechanism is supposed to help victims, but cases are piling up & Peter is still waiting. #NRMhttps://t.co/1FkTArqIvB — ECPAT International (@ECPAT) January 30, 2019 In October […]

As Modern Slavery Starts to Emerge from the Shadows, are we Ready for it?

Will Bordell March was a month of modern slavery data-points – and they’re not as dull as they might sound. Across the board, statistic after statistic shows a steep increase: in referrals, in reporting, in victims, in prosecutions. This isn’t a sign that more modern slavery is happening, but that more is being spotted – […]

International Women’s Day 2019: Fundraising for Freedom

As we mark International Women’s Day, René Cassin is asking Youth Movements and local communities to organise fundraising events to raise money for female victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. As well as celebrating the female trail-blazers and high achievers, it is also important to think of the marginalised women whose daily realities of […]

Victims of Modern Slavery Going Hungry

Despite the PM stating that modern slavery is the “greatest human rights issue of our time”, victims are going hungry. In a recent interview on LBC radio, Senior Reporter Matthew Thompson heard from one such victim who, after managing to escape, is now struggling to find paid work and subsequently cannot afford to look after […]

Ask Your MP to Stand up for Victims of Modern Slavery!

René Cassin is calling on the Government to support the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons on 25th January 2019. Currently, victims of modern slavery in the UK are only entitled to 90 days of support. After this time the vast majority are […]

Building for the Future: Modern Slavery and the Construction Industry

By Will Bordell High-rise flats and first-time-buyer housing, city-centre office blocks and high-speed railway-lines, whopping shopping centres and tip-top football stadiums: new building projects are everywhere we look. But as we drive past construction sites on the way to work or on the school run, are we looking carefully enough at the people in high-vis […]

Faiths to Freedom: Interfaith Action on Modern Slavery

Elliot Steinberg on why our faith communities are ideally placed to combat modern slavery

Anti-Slavery Day 2018

Slavery and trafficking are unavoidably connected to Jewish experience. As stated by the Chief Rabbi, “speaking out against the flagrant violations of human dignity implicit in this crime, should be in our [the Jewish community’s] DNA”. .@chiefrabbi : We must all fight slavery https://t.co/mi3mM6DqC6 pic.twitter.com/g8Ugyipqup — The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) December 7, 2017 Today, on […]

Ask Your MP to Stand Against Modern Slavery in Parliament Today!

This evening, there will be a Westminster Hall debate on Tackling Modern Slavery in Parliament 6.30-7.30pm. The event will be streamed live here. In advance of the debate, please email your own MP to ask them to participate. Please also download and attach our briefing for MPs (it is likely to carry more weight if […]

Victim Protections Undermined: René Cassin’s evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry on Modern Slavery Legislation

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the Home Affairs Committee inquiry, looking at what progress has been made in the three years since the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) came into force and what more remains to be done. In the submission, René Cassin examined the ‘guidance’ status of the MSA, which is less influential than the […]

Modern Slavery Victims and Legal Aid

Ben Cartwright discusses the importance of legal aid for victims of modern slavery.

Modern slavery numbers are increasing – is that to be welcomed?

Aidan Shipman on the latest National Crime Agency figures

Let’s Vote for Human Rights

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

Rights, Recovery and Reform – The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill

Lord McColl’s Bill will both help victims and ensure more offenders are prosecuted

2018 – Time for a real modern slavery strategy?

Victims of modern slavery deserve a strategy that is more than just a slogan

Diplomats and the Abuse of Domestic Workers

Modern slaves – made to work exploitative hours, but totally dependent on employers

‘Why We Must All Fight Slavery’ – Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

‘It is likely that every one of us has unwittingly encountered and perhaps even benefited from modern-day slavery.’ – Chief Rabbi Mirvis On the 10th December 1948, 69 years ago, our namesake Monsieur René Cassin helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every year we mark the closest Shabbat to that day with Human […]

Human Rights Shabbat 5778 Resources

On International Human Rights Day – René Cassin shines a light on modern slavery

The Fight Against Modern Slavery…

Domestic progress is being undermined by international failures

“I cried from joy” – RSY-Netzer raises £350 to support survivors of human trafficking

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Modern slavery and the media: What we don’t know can hurt us

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Sign up for Human Rights Shabbat 5778!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

We need your help to tackle ‘the great human rights issue of our time’

Please support René Cassin’s anti-slavery campaign

Europol and Eurojust – two vital EU agencies in the fight against modern slavery

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Expect more stories of slavery – and demand more victim support

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

More must be done to combat human trafficking in hotels

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Freedom – or Freefall?

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

What a human rights hero!

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

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

‘Inexcusable’ failures in UK’s response to modern slavery

System puts survivors at risk and plays into the hands of abusers

Who is at the centre of Britain’s Modern Slavery Act?

Read our latest blog on modern day slavery

Modern Slavery – ‘Human Writes’ essay competition winners

Read the winning entries and what our judge, Joshua Rozenberg, says about them

Anti-Slavery Laws – and why they do not work

Why don’t anti-slavery laws prevent slavery?

Our Biggest Human Rights Shabbat to Date!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

Human Rights Shabbat 5777 Resource Pack

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

“I hate injustice” – Ruby

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

Today (18th October) is UK Anti-Slavery Day

‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude’ – Universal Declaration of Human Rights

How will your community mark Human Rights Shabbat on 10th December?

René Cassin have run the ‘Human Rights Shabbat’ programme for the past eight years. Human Rights Shabbat falls on the nearest Shabbat to World Human Rights Day. This year that is on the 10th December. It’s an opportunity for every Jewish community in the UK to engage with the issue of human rights. You can have a […]

Slavery Chief Warns of Modern Day Slavery Exploitation of Asylum Seekers

Kevin Hyland, the UK’s anti-slavery commissioner has written a letter to Theresa May highlighting that delayed efforts to provide asylum to unaccompanied child refugees in Calais exposes these children to the risk of modern slavery and exploitation. The letter comes shortly after Theresa May pledged millions of pounds to tackle the issue of modern day slavery. Kevin Hyland […]

Latest statistics out on global modern day slavery

How many slaves are there in the UK? Is the UK better or worse than other countries at dealing with trafficking? What type of slavery is most prevalent in the UK? Recent statistics published by the Global Slavery Index paint an interesting picture. Read Zoe Paskett’s report for more detail. You can download Zoe’s thoughts here

‘Concrete forward progress’ for Overseas Domestic Workers

On March 7, the Government released its response to James Ewins’ December 2015 Independent Review of Overseas Domestic Workers’ Visas. René Cassin submitted written evidence to this review in May 2015. In his review, Ewins argued that visas which tie employees to a single employer create an environment in which abuse is more likely to […]

Independent Review of Overseas Domestic Workers Visas

In May 2015 René Cassin submitted evidence to a review of Overseas Domestic Workers visas. This is an area of concern that the Modern Slavery Act fails to tackle. Our worries, outlined in our submission, are echoed in James Ewins’ independent report, the system as it stands is open to abuse and sets out ideal […]

Tackling Modern Slavery – How overseas domestic workers are still being ignored

The last year has has seen a marked improvement in the framework of legislation to tackle modern slavery in the UK. However, this improvement has not been extended to one of the most vulnerable groups, overseas domestic workers. In fact, legislation currently in place renders them more prone to exploitation. Aidan Shipman explains more in his […]

Is Britain Fairer?’ – not for some, new report reveals

In the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection in Britain, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) today reveals ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ over the past five years. Jewish human rights charity René Cassin, which campaigns on issues that resonate with Jewish historical experience – such as […]

Launch of Trafficking Survivor Care Standards

Although it is difficult to establish the exact scale of human trafficking, due to the hidden nature of this crime, available data suggest that there could be millions of trafficked people across the world. The Human Trafficking Foundation has formed an Expert Working Group which brings together practitioners from the anti-trafficking field to discuss ways […]

Submission made to independent review of ODW visas

René Cassin Submission to ODW Review Overseas domestic workers in the UK are especially vulnerable to abuse, as they may not speak English, may not have knowledge of their rights, and have limited access to justice. Tying workers to their employers fosters labour and criminal abuse and must be opposed. René Cassin advocates reform of […]

Expert panel: How to break the chains of modern slavery?

Breaking the Chains On the 22nd of April, René Cassin was pleased to hear from renowned experts Parosha Chandran and Dr Aidan McQuade to discuss the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the future direction of anti-slavery advocacy. Chaired by Dr Rosa Freedman of Birmingham University and hosted by Berwin Leighton Paisner, the event was a great […]

Modern Slavery – breaking the chains

A René Cassin free public event on Wednesday 22 April at Berwin Leighton Paisner, London EC4R 9HA.

Slavery is not history. In the UK today there are as many as 13,000 victims. Two leading experts examine this modern scourge and what can be done to combat it.

2014 Cohort

2014 René Cassin Fellows

Meet our 2014 Cohort of René Cassin – AJA Fellows.

Events

René Cassin events complement our work on key human rights issues and provide a forum for our supporters to get involved.

Sign up for our e-Newletter to ensure you receive advance notice of our events.

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.

Modern Slavery and Homelessness Workshops

Sign up for our free evening workshops on 6th and 13th November 2019

Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale

Monday 9 December 2019, 7pm – at JW3, London NW3 6ET

National Hate Crime Awareness Week: Cut It Out

Launch of our anti-hate crime campaign, Wed 16 Oct 5pm, Houses of Parliament

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

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

Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment: Britain’s Immigration System Then and Now

Report of our Parliamentary event for Refugee Week 2019

Parliamentary Event: Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment

Free event for Refugee Week 2019 – Monday 17 June, 3-5pm, House of Commons

Never Again? A Jewish response to the Uyghur crisis

This René Cassin event examines religious persecution in China – Thursday 9 May, 7-8.30pm

Is the Rule of Law under threat?

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

Jewish Human Rights Heroes

Podcast of event now available

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 [Cancelled]

René Cassin event – Wednesday 12 December, 7.30pm – London NW3 – Cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope to reschedule for Spring 2019.

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

How the Human Rights Act kept an elderly couple together

‘Why We Must All Fight Slavery’ – Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

‘It is likely that every one of us has unwittingly encountered and perhaps even benefited from modern-day slavery.’ – Chief Rabbi Mirvis On the 10th December 1948, 69 years ago, our namesake Monsieur René Cassin helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every year we mark the closest Shabbat to that day with Human […]

Human Rights Shabbat 5778 Resources

On International Human Rights Day – René Cassin shines a light on modern slavery

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

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

Sign up for Human Rights Shabbat 5778!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

Where now for Human Rights?

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

René Cassin @Limmud #RefugeeDay

Find out about René Cassin’s refugee-themed day at Limmud Conference 2016

Our Biggest Human Rights Shabbat to Date!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

Human Rights Shabbat 5777 Resource Pack

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

How will your community mark Human Rights Shabbat on 10th December?

René Cassin have run the ‘Human Rights Shabbat’ programme for the past eight years. Human Rights Shabbat falls on the nearest Shabbat to World Human Rights Day. This year that is on the 10th December. It’s an opportunity for every Jewish community in the UK to engage with the issue of human rights. You can have a […]

Asylum Workshops – November 8th & 15th

Want to help people through the asylum system? Find out how at these free workshops

René Cassin at Limmud Conference 2015

This year’s Limmud Conference will see René Cassin involved in a series of enlightening human rights talks. The talks will be linked to some of our campaign areas and will attempt to draw the connections between Judaism and human rights. The Conference runs from 27-31 December in Birmingham. If you are planning on attending the Conference, then […]

From the Holocaust to the Human Rights Act – an evening with Dominic Grieve QC MP

On Thursday 21 January 2016 at 7pm

At JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

Hear why Conservative former Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve, opposes repeal of the Human Rights Act – and how it deeply relates to and affects the Jewish community

Asylum Detention Past and Present – René Cassin hosts event at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue

Last Sunday, as part of Mitzvah Day, René Cassin hosted an event at the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue in order to raise awareness of indefinite detention. We heard compelling talks from Thiru, a member of Freed Voices who has recently been through the detention system, and Fritz Lustig, a 96-year old German-Jewish man interned […]

‘Immigration Detention – then and now.’ Mitzvah Day at NPLS

Harmondsworth fence

Sunday 22 November, 1pm Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, 18-24 Oaklands Gate, Northwood, HA6 3AA The UK is the only country in the whole of Europe that does not have a time limit on how long an individual can be kept in detention. Join us and Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue as we explore the […]

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.

The Refugee Crisis – the Jewish community’s response

Wednesday 7 October, 7pm at JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

As Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, find out how the Jewish community has come together to offer tangible ways to make a difference.

‘Time for a Time Limit’ – Interfaith Tent

Harmondsworth fence

On Sunday July 5 (Ramadan and 17th of Tammuz) at Harmondsworth Moor (UB7 0PD)

‘ … since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt’

We call on people of all faiths and none to gather near Harmondsworth Detention Centre – in solidarity with the strangers at our gates.

Free event – all welcome

Modern Slavery – breaking the chains

A René Cassin free public event on Wednesday 22 April at Berwin Leighton Paisner, London EC4R 9HA.

Slavery is not history. In the UK today there are as many as 13,000 victims. Two leading experts examine this modern scourge and what can be done to combat it.

Valley of Sighs – film screening

Saturday 31 January 2015, 7pm – Conway Hall, London WC1R 4RL

In Holocaust Memorial Week, this powerful documentary remembers a forgotten genocide from the Second World War.

Screening is followed with Q&A session with the film’s writer, director and producer.

International Advocacy

René Cassin works to ensure that the UK honours its international human rights commitments. We also aim to protect rights at the national level by raising the international community’s awareness of human rights issues in the UK.

René Cassin’s international advocacy works via:

United Nations Universal Periodic Review – The UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a means by which United Nations Member States present their human rights records to each other and the UN. Set up by the Human Rights Council in 2006, the UPR allows Member States to demonstrate the actions they have taken to uphold human rights in their countries, as well as to outline the areas where further progress is needed. The report is supported and supplemented by information provided by UN accredited non-governmental organisations such as René Cassin, civil society actors and national organisations which promote human rights. The UK has ratified all of the major UN human rights treaties and is legally bound by these conventions. The UPR allows the UN’s Human Rights Council to scrutinise the human rights records of member states. René Cassin submits reports to the review process and attends relevant meetings of the UPR Working Group and Human Rights Council.

United Nations treaty bodies – We report to the bodies monitoring implementation of binding treaties that the UK has signed, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

United Nations Human Rights Council – We brief UN Special Rapporteurs on topics related to our policy areas, and draw attention to human rights violations. For example, in 2007 we addressed the Council on the issue of the Genocide in Darfur.

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

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

René Cassin was born 130 years ago today

Europol and Eurojust – two vital EU agencies in the fight against modern slavery

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Where now for Human Rights?

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

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 to review their domestic human rights situation, and set recommendations for future progress. In our submission, René Cassin raised four main issues for the UK […]

Statement on attacks in Paris – 7 January 2015

René Cassin is shocked by the murders that took place last week. We have a particular connection to these dreadful events. We hope and believe that the human virtues of tolerance and respect will triumph over hatred and suspicion …

Latest

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.

Where human rights begin – training youth group leaders

On 25 September, René Cassin hosted 30 JLGB volunteers for training on leading human rights education for their groups.

2020 Fellowship Programme

New deadline for applications: noon, Monday 18 November

Standing together against hate: the launch of #CutItOut campaign in Parliament

Kate Green MP: “Hatred of one group is hatred of us all.”

Today, on Anti-Slavery Day we are focussing on those small, often unnoticed, places, close to home, where human rights begin

Slavery is not history. It would be comforting to think that it ended with William Wilberforce’s Abolition Act in 1833. But it didn’t. It is here and it is now. A thoroughly modern manifestation of heartless exploitation and human misery. All happening today, right under our noses. No wonder Theresa May called it ‘the great […]

René Cassin and the Traveller Movement launch a new anti-hate speech campaign calling for more respectful language in politics

On Wednesday the 16 of October, René Cassin and the Traveller Movement will launch a new anti-hate speech campaign. The #Cut It Out campaign aims to tackle hate speech and inflammatory rhetoric in politics against ethnic minorities or religious groups. By cutting out words that show who the hate is being directed at, we reveal […]

Cut It Out Campaign

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers share a history of persecution with Jewish people. Targeted by the Nazis during the Holocaust, faced with open prejudice and official indifference, and now subjected to a rise in hate speech and online abuse. In 2017, 30% of reported anti-Muslim hate incidents and 18% of reported Anti-Semitic incidents occurred online. Three […]

Modern Slavery and Homelessness Workshops

Sign up for our free evening workshops on 6th and 13th November 2019

Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale

Monday 9 December 2019, 7pm – at JW3, London NW3 6ET

Xinjiang – “never again” is happening again

René Cassin Submission to Parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion and human rights defenders

Gender equality and modern day slavery: is girl power the answer?

Intern Alice reports on the gendered aspect of modern slavery and suggests possible solutions.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week: Cut It Out

Launch of our anti-hate crime campaign, Wed 16 Oct 5pm, Houses of Parliament

René Cassin’s 2019 ‘Human Writes’ Essay Competition now open!

“Social media: friend or foe of human rights?” – deadline 11 November 2019

My Week at René Cassin

I learnt that when one advocates for the human rights of one particular group, all groups benefit.

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 meant in theory not to discriminate against disabled people, too often discrimination takes place in practice. By incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) […]

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

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

Misogyny as a hate crime: not so fast

Work experience student Mollie writes on the campaign to have misogyny classified as a hate crime

“I learnt the importance and significance of what René Cassin stands for and the crucial role the organisation plays within society”

Lily Compton reflects on how her work experience week has inspired her to not just observe events, but to take action to protect human rights.

“We as a community cannot sit back and watch as others experience the horrors of slavery”

Leah Malkinson explains how her work experience week was not just admin and making coffee, but rather “immersed [her] into the world of human rights activism”

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day 2019

Members of the Jewish community gathered at Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial to show solidarity with members of the Roma community for Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

CST Report Finds Shocking Increase in Antisemitism

New report finds that antisemitism is still on the rise, breaking record numbers this year.

County lines – the child criminal exploitation on our doorsteps

Ben Lewis reports on an often missed aspect of child exploitation in the UK

The Rule of Law and Socio-Economic Justice

Professor Geraldine van Bueren argues for a new approach

“René Cassin shines brightly in our country as an organisation that stands up to discrimination”

By Joshua Wuggenig I came to René Cassin at a particularly daunting time for human rights around the world, with Western countries catering further and further to far-right groups and policies, bringing discrimination and hate crime into the public view, and brutal crackdowns on minorities by countries around the world – the Uyghurs in China, […]

What’s the situation in Hungary and what’s it like for minorities? – Friday 24 May 2019

Our second day in Budapest – a deep dive into modern-day Hungary and the lived experiences of marginalised groups

Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment: Britain’s Immigration System Then and Now

Report of our Parliamentary event for Refugee Week 2019

The Lethal Policy of Indefinite Immigration Detention

René Cassin’s Campaigns Officer, Hannah Swirsky, writes in Jewish News Online: In Britain each year, around 25,000 migrants and asylum seekers are routinely locked up in detention centres – often for months, sometimes for years. No trial. No redress. No knowing when they will be released. No time limit on how long they can be […]

Refugee Week 2019

René Cassin is proud to support Refugee Week 2019 (17-23 June). Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, co-authored by our namesake Monsieur René Cassin, states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” and “the right to a nationality”. The need to protect these […]

Fighting Hate Crime and Discrimination: The Jewish Standpoint

Learn about the takeaways from our latest session by one of our Fellows

European Elections Statement

It’s election time! The right to vote, set out in Protocol 1, Article 3 of the Human Rights Act, is a vital prerequisite for a democratic society. We therefore urge everyone to use their democratic human right and vote in the European Elections today. Making a Stand Against Hate Across Europe we are seeing a […]

Parliamentary Event: Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment

Free event for Refugee Week 2019 – Monday 17 June, 3-5pm, House of Commons

Jewish Action Against Persecution of Uyghurs

Inspired to act? Here’s what you can do to oppose the persecution of Uyghurs.

That’s Not a Good Look: Fast Fashion and Modern Slavery

Lauren Chaplin explores whether, six years on from Rana Plaza tragedy, anything has changed.

Could you be René Cassin’s next Treasurer?

We are looking for a Treasurer to join our Trustee Board René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights, works to promote and protect universal human rights drawing on Jewish experience and values. We celebrate the timeless and universal nature of human rights values and protections the distinctive Jewish contribution to the current landscape of […]

Immigration Regulations Undermine NRM Despite Reforms

By Jane Kilpatrick Trafficking victim Peter came in contact with @ECPATUK after he ran away from his traffickers, in desperate need of support. In the #UK, the National Referral Mechanism is supposed to help victims, but cases are piling up & Peter is still waiting. #NRMhttps://t.co/1FkTArqIvB — ECPAT International (@ECPAT) January 30, 2019 In October […]

Reflection on Session Three: Immigration Detention

by Mo Makin The topic of discussion for this session was immigration detention. Immigration always seems to be in the News. Politicians and journalists are mostly seen questioning how much immigration the UK has? What type of immigrants are coming and where those immigrants are from? I feel that because the majority of focus on […]

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 be parted from him in their old age.   But when Edith points out to Social Services that this would breach their human right to private […]

As Modern Slavery Starts to Emerge from the Shadows, are we Ready for it?

Will Bordell March was a month of modern slavery data-points – and they’re not as dull as they might sound. Across the board, statistic after statistic shows a steep increase: in referrals, in reporting, in victims, in prosecutions. This isn’t a sign that more modern slavery is happening, but that more is being spotted – […]

Never Again? A Jewish response to the Uyghur crisis

This René Cassin event examines religious persecution in China – Thursday 9 May, 7-8.30pm

South Africa’s Human Rights Day

Josh Alston looks at the role that South African Jews played in the fight against apartheid, and remembers Ruth First’s struggle and sacrifice.

MPs Call for End to Indefinite Detention

By Bella Lever Last month, the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report which called for a time limit on indefinite detention. One of the key reasons they list in support of a time limit is the potential for indefinite detention to ‘trigger mental illness and exacerbate mental health conditions where they already exist’. […]

International Women’s Day 2019

Today is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating how far we have come in securing women’s rights, but also for thinking about all those who have been left behind. Despite Eleanor Roosevelts affirmation that human rights begin “in small places, close to home”, so too do discrimination and violence against women. The current UK […]

To Advance Women’s Rights, We Must Promote Human Rights

By Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director of René Cassin When Minerva Bernardino from the Dominican Republic, Hansa Mehta from India and Shaista Ikramullah from Pakistan, joined Eleanor Roosevelt to ensure that the idea of women’s right to equality – “equal rights of men and women” – was rightfully incorporated into the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human […]

International Women’s Day 2019: Fundraising for Freedom

As we mark International Women’s Day, René Cassin is asking Youth Movements and local communities to organise fundraising events to raise money for female victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. As well as celebrating the female trail-blazers and high achievers, it is also important to think of the marginalised women whose daily realities of […]

Female Jewish Human Rights Heroes

As we mark International Women’s Day, it is important to celebrate Jewish women throughout history who have championed human rights. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ruth Bader Ginsburg (or RBG) was appointed to the US Supreme Court in 1993, the second female ever to hold such a position. Prior to this, RBG was a notable advocate for […]

Making the Jewish Case for Human Rights in the UK

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

We Must Call Out Prejudice

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities together constitute Europe’s largest ethnic minority and they share a history of persecution with Jewish people. Recent studies have shown that GRT communities experience more racism and discrimination than any other group in the UK and face multiple disadvantages, such as with regards to education, health, the workplace and […]

Parliamentary Committee Backs Call for a 28-day Time Limit

Last week the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) published its report on immigration detention in the UK, joining René Cassin, and many others, in the call to end indefinite detention. Key recommendations from the JCHR: Independent decision making. To ensure adequate safegaurds and rigour, the decision on whether to detain someone should be made […]

Human rights begin at home

René Cassin statement on Holocaust Memorial Day

Meet the 2019 Cohort of René Cassin AJA Fellows

We are excited to welcome our new Cohort of Fellows, read all about them here.

These Walls Must Fall in Bristol

Two Bristol students discuss the successful campaign for Bristol City Council to pass a These Walls Must Fall motion. Imagine this – you’re locked up, and you don’t know your release date. No one will tell you, because most of the time, they don’t know either. This is the reality for 30,000 people, each year, […]

Victims of Modern Slavery Going Hungry

Despite the PM stating that modern slavery is the “greatest human rights issue of our time”, victims are going hungry. In a recent interview on LBC radio, Senior Reporter Matthew Thompson heard from one such victim who, after managing to escape, is now struggling to find paid work and subsequently cannot afford to look after […]

Students Create History of Human Rights Podcast

Two student from JFS, Georgie and David, have created a wonderful short podcast outlining a brief history of human rights in UK.

Cultural Genocide in Xinjiang

By Baruch Solomon This week we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Seventy years is a long time however, and few of us will have heard of Peng Chun Chang, a distinguished Chinese dramatist, diplomat and humanitarian. Together with René Cassin and others, he helped draft the Declaration. He […]

“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 you find these resources informative and instructive. Human Rights Shabbat is always the closest Shabbat to the 10th December, World Human Rights Day, and this […]

Resources and Reports

René Cassin produces educational resources that our supporters can use to educate their communities about human rights issues and Jewish teachings. We also produce research and reports on human rights issues.

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 City with his family, four thousand miles from home, survivors of the devastation of European Jewry.  He still has an Austrian accent, still hasn’t been […]

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 raise legal claims in the UK. Furthermore, the section 6(1) provision in the HRA, which makes it unlawful for public bodies to act in a […]

Happy 20th Birthday, Human Rights Act!

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

Jewish Human Rights Heroes

Podcast of event now available

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 [Cancelled]

René Cassin event – Wednesday 12 December, 7.30pm – London NW3 – Cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope to reschedule for Spring 2019.

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

How the Human Rights Act kept an elderly couple together

Faiths to Freedom: Interfaith Action on Modern Slavery

Elliot Steinberg on why our faith communities are ideally placed to combat modern slavery

Anti-Slavery Day 2018

Slavery and trafficking are unavoidably connected to Jewish experience. As stated by the Chief Rabbi, “speaking out against the flagrant violations of human dignity implicit in this crime, should be in our [the Jewish community’s] DNA”. .@chiefrabbi : We must all fight slavery https://t.co/mi3mM6DqC6 pic.twitter.com/g8Ugyipqup — The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) December 7, 2017 Today, on […]

Ask Your MP to Stand Against Modern Slavery in Parliament Today!

This evening, there will be a Westminster Hall debate on Tackling Modern Slavery in Parliament 6.30-7.30pm. The event will be streamed live here. In advance of the debate, please email your own MP to ask them to participate. Please also download and attach our briefing for MPs (it is likely to carry more weight if […]

Victim Protections Undermined: René Cassin’s evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry on Modern Slavery Legislation

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the Home Affairs Committee inquiry, looking at what progress has been made in the three years since the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) came into force and what more remains to be done. In the submission, René Cassin examined the ‘guidance’ status of the MSA, which is less influential than the […]

René Cassin submits evidence to Parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which is undertaking an inquiry into immigration detention. Highlighting how the current system infringes human rights, René Cassin stated that: “Migration and seeking asylum are central to the Jewish experience. Granting refuge to those who seek shelter is a core value within the Jewish […]

“A thoroughly enjoyable, educational and fulfilling experience”

Yoram Goodman reflects on his internship at René Cassin

The 2nd August – Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

74 years ago today, the Nazis killed 2,897 Roma men, women and children at Auschwitz

Trafficked children in UK “continue to be exploited”

On World Day against Trafficking, Ben Lewis considers children “trapped in their exploitation”.

Shaw Review 2: “The time that many people spend in detention remains deeply troubling”

Stephen Shaw has published his long-awaited second review into UK immigration detention.

Passionate about human rights? Fundraising experience? – join us as a Trustee

As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there has never been a more important time to get involved in our work.

“They are playing with people’s lives” – treatment of Jewish refugee highlights the UK’s shameful policy of indefinite detention

“I thought that Britain was a country of human rights but this is not the case in detention”

US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council – we need politicians to keep talking

Responding to the United States’ decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, said today: Lasting solutions to the many serious abuses of human rights worldwide will only be tackled by nations sitting down and talking – and, yes, often arguing – about the issues. Like any human […]

Its Refugee Week!

Refugees enrich our society – but many suffer unfair and disproportionate treatment

Winner announced in René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ essay competition

Joshua Rozenberg finds winning essay “… a convincing thesis and a pleasure to read”.

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.

Modern slavery numbers are increasing – is that to be welcomed?

Aidan Shipman on the latest National Crime Agency figures

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

Solidarity as a Jewish Value: Why René Cassin is Setting up a Jewish Visitors Group

Interested in supporting someone in immigration detention? We want to hear from you!

EU Withdrawal Bill Update

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

Children’s Rights After Brexit

“The legacy of UDHR is protected especially when it comes to children and other vulnerable groups”

Protesting at Yarl’s Wood: How Judaism Informs My Activism

By Jess Baker

Let’s Vote for Human Rights

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

‘The Windrush Generation’ – statement by René Cassin

The Government must provide adequate resources to confirm the secure immigration status of all affected

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

Women in Hunger Strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

Government criticised over treatment of detainees

René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ essay competition now open!

Deadline Tuesday 8 May

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

Rights, Recovery and Reform – The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill

Lord McColl’s Bill will both help victims and ensure more offenders are prosecuted

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

‘A Matter of Routine’ – the cruelty and absurdity of indefinite immigration detention

28 day limit and community-based schemes offer more humane alternatives

2018 – Time for a real modern slavery strategy?

Victims of modern slavery deserve a strategy that is more than just a slogan

Diplomats and the Abuse of Domestic Workers

Modern slaves – made to work exploitative hours, but totally dependent on employers

René Cassin Goes Live – Immigration Detention Discussion

Our Campaigns Manager, Sam Grant, took 30 minutes to discuss the issue of Immigration Detention with Jeneration Students. Have a listen to Sam discussing what René Cassin do, what Immigration Detention is and what the Jewish community can do about it. Live with Sam Grant from René Cassin – What can the Jewish community do […]

‘Why We Must All Fight Slavery’ – Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

‘It is likely that every one of us has unwittingly encountered and perhaps even benefited from modern-day slavery.’ – Chief Rabbi Mirvis On the 10th December 1948, 69 years ago, our namesake Monsieur René Cassin helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every year we mark the closest Shabbat to that day with Human […]

Human Rights Shabbat 5778 Resources

On International Human Rights Day – René Cassin shines a light on modern slavery

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

The Fight Against Modern Slavery…

Domestic progress is being undermined by international failures

Human Rights Thought for the Week

Connecting each portion of the Torah to human rights

What have Human Rights got to do with us?

Debora Singer writes movingly about her own family history…

“I cried from joy” – RSY-Netzer raises £350 to support survivors of human trafficking

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Modern slavery and the media: What we don’t know can hurt us

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

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

Sign up for Human Rights Shabbat 5778!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

Europol and Eurojust – two vital EU agencies in the fight against modern slavery

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

Abuse in Detention is a Symptom of a Wider Problem

In response to an upcoming BBC Panorama undercover documentary examining immigration detention, G4S have suspended nine members of staff pending abuse allegations. You can read their statement here. The mistreatment is being condemned by politicians and civil society.  However, the problems go much deeper than just nine members of staff. The immigration detention system is […]

Expect more stories of slavery – and demand more victim support

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

More must be done to combat human trafficking in hotels

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

A Tale of Two Countries

Have a read and find out what our brilliant work experience students Soroh, Jessica and Julia, have been doing with us this Summer…

Where now for Human Rights?

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

All hate crimes are equal, but some …

It’s time to end ‘hierarchy of hate’ – by equalising sentences for all hate crimes

Freedom – or Freefall?

Lack of support puts slavery and trafficking survivors at risk

What a human rights hero!

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

Minorities amongst Minorities

Minorities amongst Minorities: The LGBT experience in UK Detention Centres  René Cassin Personal Project Emma Falley July 2017 René Cassin works towards a world where everyone can fully enjoy their human rights. The organisation draws on Jewish experiences and values to make a compelling case for human rights values and to campaign for change. René […]

Simone Veil Obituary

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

New Human Rights Act School Resources

***deadline – 6 Feb*** “The great human rights issue of our time”. Do you agree?

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

‘Inexcusable’ failures in UK’s response to modern slavery

System puts survivors at risk and plays into the hands of abusers

Who is at the centre of Britain’s Modern Slavery Act?

Read our latest blog on modern day slavery

Theresa May says this snap election is about unity

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

Brexit – human rights are vital to a successful transition

Human rights allow prosperity, peace and freedom to flourish

Hate Crime – Jewish and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities unite

Landmark meeting on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Modern Slavery – ‘Human Writes’ essay competition winners

Read the winning entries and what our judge, Joshua Rozenberg, says about them

Reflections on my internship with René Cassin

‘I became enthralled by the topic, as slavery affects so many millions of people around the world, and I know that it is something I will continue to work on in the future.’ Hannah Richter writes about her three months interning with René Cassin. Find out what she got up to below. If you are […]

Anti-Slavery Laws – and why they do not work

Why don’t anti-slavery laws prevent slavery?

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

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

‘Cruel and Disproportionate’

In response to Donald Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim countries, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, commented: “Donald Trump’s ‘refugee ban’ is cruel, disproportionate and runs counter to international humanitarian law. René Cassin agree with broad swathes of civil society condemning Trump for his actions. The fact that this ban was announced on […]

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

Oppressing the stranger – another death in UK detention

There are community-based alternatives to the fatal inhumanity of immigration detention

It’s not all gloom and doom – newsletter 22 December 2016

2016 has been an unsettling year for human rights – but there are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic – and many ways you can help us keep the flame of human rights alight.

René Cassin @Limmud #RefugeeDay

Find out about René Cassin’s refugee-themed day at Limmud Conference 2016

Our Biggest Human Rights Shabbat to Date!

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

Government backtracks on 500% fee increases in Immigration Tribunals

René Cassin is pleased that the Government has reversed the 500% court fees increase in the immigration tribunal. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, previously said that the massive hike in costs would ‘result in justice being delayed and denied to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.’ It was announced that  fees […]

Modern Slavery – ‘Human Writes’ Essay Competition now open!

***deadline – 6 Feb*** “The great human rights issue of our time”. Do you agree?

Human Rights Shabbat 5777 Resource Pack

All the basics you need to know about modern day slavery

“If they are not counted, they don’t count”

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children are significantly overrepresented in the youth criminal justice system. However, the failure to record GRT children in ethnic monitoring processes means that there is no official data on this. Indeed, the lack of data means that this overrepresentation cannot be addressed. As put plainly by the Traveller Times, “if […]

“I hate injustice” – Ruby

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

Today (18th October) is UK Anti-Slavery Day

‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude’ – Universal Declaration 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

National Hate Crime Awareness Week, 8 to 15 October

We are highlighting the problem of hate crime against Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – the 80th anniversary of Cable Street.

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – James Masters writes about the 80th anniversary of Cable Street. For many the date of October 4 1936 is one that has slipped back into the annals of history. For others, it remains a day which will never be forgotten. Now, 80 years on since the […]

Shana Tova – Happy New Year!

With Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) fast approaching, and the Jewish year 5776 drawing to a close, we want to wish all our supporters a sweet new year and have a quick look back on our achievements. This year René Cassin: Raised a Jewish voice in opposition to the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act. Human […]

How will your community mark Human Rights Shabbat on 10th December?

René Cassin have run the ‘Human Rights Shabbat’ programme for the past eight years. Human Rights Shabbat falls on the nearest Shabbat to World Human Rights Day. This year that is on the 10th December. It’s an opportunity for every Jewish community in the UK to engage with the issue of human rights. You can have a […]

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 to review their domestic human rights situation, and set recommendations for future progress. In our submission, René Cassin raised four main issues for the UK […]

Asylum Workshops – November 8th & 15th

Want to help people through the asylum system? Find out how at these free workshops

Slavery Chief Warns of Modern Day Slavery Exploitation of Asylum Seekers

Kevin Hyland, the UK’s anti-slavery commissioner has written a letter to Theresa May highlighting that delayed efforts to provide asylum to unaccompanied child refugees in Calais exposes these children to the risk of modern slavery and exploitation. The letter comes shortly after Theresa May pledged millions of pounds to tackle the issue of modern day slavery. Kevin Hyland […]

500% court fee increase to go ahead despite opposition

The Government has announced that plans to implement increases of up to 500% in court fees for immigration and asylum cases will go ahead, despite all but five of 147 responses from the Government consultation opposing the move. René Cassin submitted evidence raising serious concerns around access to justice. Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of René Cassin, responded […]

#RefugeesWelcome march

This Saturday, the 17th September, tens of thousands of people will be marching in solidarity with refugees. If you want to join the Jewish bloc, you can meet outside Marble Arch Station at 12.15. Read why this matters to the Jewish community here. Find out more about the march here.      

#OperationReportHate

We are proud to support the Traveller Movement with the #OperationReportHate campaign

René Cassin submits evidence to Hate Crime Inquiry

“There is no place for hate” René Cassin’s director tells Home Affairs Select Committee’s inquiry.

The Story of the ‘Refugee People’ is not over yet…

Kezia Niman writes about the indelible link between Jewish history and the refugee crisis

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

Open Letter to the new Home Secretary, Amber Rudd

Dear Home Secretary, Congratulations on your appointment. Your government has committed to leave the European Union while maintaining Britain’s position as a compassionate and outward facing country, meeting our global responsibilities. We are writing to urge you to maintain and increase the UK’s support for people who have fled violence, conflict and persecution, as part […]

A light has gone out of this world

Alex Goldberg, René Cassin Trustee remembers a personal encounter with Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, who died on 2 July

Disbelief, Confusion and Apprehension

“In these turbulent and uncertain times, we need to hold firm to the values that bind us together as a society. Human rights laws developed in response to tyranny and genocide.Let’s not allow them to become the victims of political agendas” René Cassin Director, Mia Hasenson-Gross, responds to Brexit with a heartfelt personal plea

It’s Refugee Week!

The 20th June is World Refugee Day and the beginning of Refugee Week. Read our statement below and check out our twitter to look at all the different events going on up and down the country.   You can download our statement here

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 2 June 2016

Good news on asylum, the fight to save the Human Rights Act and much more – read the latest round-up of René Cassin’s work in our supporters’ newsletter, 2 June 2016

Latest statistics out on global modern day slavery

How many slaves are there in the UK? Is the UK better or worse than other countries at dealing with trafficking? What type of slavery is most prevalent in the UK? Recent statistics published by the Global Slavery Index paint an interesting picture. Read Zoe Paskett’s report for more detail. You can download Zoe’s thoughts here

18 months campaigning against indefinite detention

It has been an incredibly busy 18 months within our campaign to end indefinite detention. We’ve achieved some great breakthroughs but we still have plenty to do. Read our report on all the work that we’ve been doing with our partners below. You can download the full report here Members of the Jewish community putting […]

Justice is open to all – like the Ritz Hotel

The UK government has proposed increasing the fees that need to be paid to appeal an asylum or immigration decision in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal in England and Wales. René Cassin will be responding to the Government’s consultation. The consultation is open until 3 June 2016. Take part in the consultation You can also sign this […]

Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On 4 May 2016, René Cassin Trustee Alexander Goldberg spoke at the memorial seminar in honour of Clemens Nathan. Clemens was a long time friend and colleague of Monsieur René Cassin. Alex said: “Borne out of the ashes of the Shoah, Clemens … believed that the Declaration was a global attempt to proclaim the imperative ‘never again’. Never again would there be such inhumanity. Never again would a sovereign state be able to claim that it could deprive a minority of life, liberty and fundamental freedoms on the basis of their religion, ethnicity and other characteristics or be able to claim it had done this under law of the land”

Write to your MP today!

Latest on the Immigration Bill. Lords Ramsbotham’s amendment on judicial oversight returns to the House of Commons on the 9th May. Now is the time to write to your MP asking them to shed a bit more light into the murky detention system. The Government also agreed for the first time to an element of […]

New Video. Detention in the 1940s: The story of Fritz Lustig

Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War as thousands of desperate people flee war-torn countries in the Middle East. Jewish experience is littered with episodes of fleeing persecution and seeking sanctuary. Like many people seeking asylum in Britain today, thousands of Jewish refugees were interned by their hosts. In the […]

From headlines to homes: media coverage and public perception of Europe’s refugee crisis

The lethal policy of immigration detention, defending the Human Rights Act … and much more – read the latest news from René Cassin – in our supporters’ newsletter, 24 February 2016

Put a key on your Seder plate this Pesach

As we celebrate freedom at our Passover Seder, we remind ourselves of those whose freedom is still restricted. Get involved and take a small step to help raise awareness of the plight of those in indefinite detention and tell people that it is time for a time limit. You can download the poster here or find more […]

René Cassin seeks specialist communications/PR trustee

Interested in joining a small but effective London-based human rights charity through a period of growth and development? We are seeking a new trustee with experience in communications and/or PR, enthusiasm for our mission and a willingness to commit time and energy to the role.

Just ‘Banter’…

‘Every instance of an ethnic slur, or a stereotype or any other attempt to discriminate against us and push us ‘back to our caravans’ should be vigorously confronted.’ Rachel Bailey writes about the Six Nations Rugby incident between Joe Marler and Samson Lee, in which Marler called Lee a ‘Gypsy Boy’ and told him to […]

‘Concrete forward progress’ for Overseas Domestic Workers

On March 7, the Government released its response to James Ewins’ December 2015 Independent Review of Overseas Domestic Workers’ Visas. René Cassin submitted written evidence to this review in May 2015. In his review, Ewins argued that visas which tie employees to a single employer create an environment in which abuse is more likely to […]

‘Amir died at his most vulnerable…’

On the 17th February, Amir Siman-Tov was sadly found dead at Colnbrook Detention Centre. The details around the circumstances of his death are still unclear. Amir is the 26th person to die in a UK detention centre. His death comes in the wake of  continued calls for reform to the immigration detention system. We hear a […]

Latest news from René Cassin – newsletter 24 February 2016

The lethal policy of immigration detention, defending the Human Rights Act … and much more – read the latest news from René Cassin – in our supporters’ newsletter, 24 February 2016

Response to death of Amir Siman-Tov at Colnbrook Detention Centre

On the 17th February, Amir Siman-Tov was sadly found dead at Colnbrook Detention Centre. The details around the circumstances of his death are unclear. The Jewish Chronicle have covered the story here The Jewish News have covered the story here The Israel National News picked up the story here His death comes in the wake […]

40th anniversary since the death of Monsieur René Cassin

40 years ago this Saturday (20th February) the man our organisation is named after, Monsieur René Cassin passed away. Read Catherine O’Neill’s thoughts on his legacy and what her time as a René Cassin intern has taught her:     You can download her thoughts here    

Right to Remain and René Cassin: Asylum Workshops

We will be repeating these sessions on the 8th and 15th November in 2016. email sam.grant@renecassin.org for more information   In the light of the biggest movement of refugees since the Second World War René Cassin has been inundated with requests from people seeking to understand how the UK asylum system works and how they can help those […]

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.

Independent Review of Overseas Domestic Workers Visas

In May 2015 René Cassin submitted evidence to a review of Overseas Domestic Workers visas. This is an area of concern that the Modern Slavery Act fails to tackle. Our worries, outlined in our submission, are echoed in James Ewins’ independent report, the system as it stands is open to abuse and sets out ideal […]

APPG on Refugees meeting

On February 2, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees held a meeting to discuss the UK’s response to the refugee crisis. The meeting, titled “From Damascus to Dunkirk: Responding humanely to refugees at our border,” was packed with activists and community members, with not a single seat left unfilled. The panel consisted of five members: […]

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

Writing in this week’s Jewish Chronicle, 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

Latest Human Rights Act Briefing

Ahead of our sold out JW3 event with Dominic Grieve MP QC on January 21st we have put together a brief update on where the conversation surrounding the Human Rights Act is up to: You can download the briefing here. We will be live tweeting the event from 7pm until 8.30pm on Thursday night and […]

Shaw Review – positive but piecemeal

In May 2015, René Cassin submitted evidence to the Shaw Review into the welfare in immigration detention of vulnerable persons. Our submission highlighted the fact that the review would never be able to deal entirely with the issue of vulnerability whilst ignoring the central issue of indefinite immigration detention. The 350 page report out today again demonstrates […]

René Cassin and Tzelem Lobby Peers on Immigration Bill

The current Immigration Bill is so far a missed opportunity to put an end to the harmful practice of indefinite detention. We have joined together with Tzelem to Lobby Peers and you can read our joint letter below: If you want to get involved and help us on this campaign please don’t hesitate to email info@renecassin.org […]

Tackling Modern Slavery – How overseas domestic workers are still being ignored

The last year has has seen a marked improvement in the framework of legislation to tackle modern slavery in the UK. However, this improvement has not been extended to one of the most vulnerable groups, overseas domestic workers. In fact, legislation currently in place renders them more prone to exploitation. Aidan Shipman explains more in his […]

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 examine Magna Carta and its connections with today’s debate over the Human Rights Act. Sam also presented two sessions with Rabbi Natan Levy on the indefinite detention of […]

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 celebration of the Human Rights Act and the way it strengthens our democracy, not weakens it. The letter was published in the Times today. Read […]

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 Day’. It is the first debate on human rights during this government so it was an important opportunity to have the Jewish voice heard. Have a look at […]

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 important as ever. Happy Human Rights Day!

René Cassin again raises the indefinite detention of asylum seekers

Following our submission to the Immigration Bill Committee last month, René Cassin has written to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights. We have again raised the issue of the indefinite detention of asylum seekers and called for the government to introduce a time limit to detention. The Immigration Bill provides the perfect opportunity for this. The […]

René Cassin at Limmud Conference 2015

This year’s Limmud Conference will see René Cassin involved in a series of enlightening human rights talks. The talks will be linked to some of our campaign areas and will attempt to draw the connections between Judaism and human rights. The Conference runs from 27-31 December in Birmingham. If you are planning on attending the Conference, then […]

From the Holocaust to the Human Rights Act – an evening with Dominic Grieve QC MP

On Thursday 21 January 2016 at 7pm

At JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

Hear why Conservative former Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve, opposes repeal of the Human Rights Act – and how it deeply relates to and affects the Jewish community

Asylum Detention Past and Present – René Cassin hosts event at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue

Last Sunday, as part of Mitzvah Day, René Cassin hosted an event at the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue in order to raise awareness of indefinite detention. We heard compelling talks from Thiru, a member of Freed Voices who has recently been through the detention system, and Fritz Lustig, a 96-year old German-Jewish man interned […]

‘Some are more equal than others…’

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area: ‘Some are more equal than others…’

‘An opportunity that should not be missed’ – Submission to the Immigration Bill

The Immigration Bill is currently at committee stage in Parliament. There are many policy entry points within this bill and you can find a briefing on the Bill here. The Bill represents an opportunity to end the indefinite detention of vulnerable people. We’ve submitted our thoughts to the committee and you can see our submission […]

A ‘lose-lose’ situation

  The Government recently published the Housing and Planning Bill which contains measures that will remove the duty on local authorities to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers for the purposes of planning for Traveller sites. The move will also get rid of the only piece of legislation that recognises Gypsies’ and Travellers’ […]

Modern Day Abrahams

We spent Shabbat at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue and gave the sermon on immigration detention. Click below to find out what the Torah portion ‘Chaye Sarah’ has to do with indefinite detention. D’var Torah – Modern Day Abrahams

Is Britain Fairer?’ – not for some, new report reveals

In the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection in Britain, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) today reveals ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ over the past five years. Jewish human rights charity René Cassin, which campaigns on issues that resonate with Jewish historical experience – such as […]

“Broken and unfair” – René Cassin Director calls for immigration detention time limit

Speaking at an event called in response to the refugee crisis, René Cassin’s director, Mia Hasenson-Gross was asked: “What changes in UK law do you think are needed to address the issue of indefinite immigration detention?”. Read her reply …

Response to Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference

René Cassin was deeply concerned by the rhetoric and proposed plans set forward in the Home Secretary’s speech.

‘Immigration Detention – then and now.’ Mitzvah Day at NPLS

Harmondsworth fence

Sunday 22 November, 1pm Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, 18-24 Oaklands Gate, Northwood, HA6 3AA The UK is the only country in the whole of Europe that does not have a time limit on how long an individual can be kept in detention. Join us and Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue as we explore the […]

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 seek justice and correct wrongs. Yet there is a chance it won’t have another anniversary as the government seeks to repeal it and replace it […]

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.

The Refugee Crisis – the Jewish community’s response

Wednesday 7 October, 7pm at JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

As Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, find out how the Jewish community has come together to offer tangible ways to make a difference.

Human Rights and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

We consider the ways in which human rights legislation affects Gypsy and Traveller Communities living in England and Wales. It is written in the context of government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. Human Rights legislation protects everyone but especially minorities within society. Any repeal or back-stepping on current protections will leave many groups […]

Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area Download the article here:Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Detention Debate in Parliament

Today, 10th September 2015, Parliament sat down to debate detention for asylum seekers and refugees. Impassioned pleas were made by over 25 MPs, from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party. All MPs who spoke commended the report and called for radical change to the detention system. There was unanimous support for the […]

Government introduces “discriminatory” planning policy for Traveller sites

A report from the Traveller Movement has highlighted the harmful, troublesome and at times discriminatory effects of a new planning policy introduced in late August. The policy does not acknowledge that a Gypsy or Traveller who stops travelling permanently, even for the reasons of education, health or old age, is eligible to apply for planning […]

#UnlockTheDebate – Alternative debate on detention

In Britain, asylum seekers can be held indefinitely in detention centres. This means that people, who have often escaped unthinkable situations to seek refuge in the UK, will not know when they will walk free once again. After being traumatised by war, imprisonment, religious persecution, torture, rape and sexual abuse, these people are trapped once […]

The Refugee Crisis

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Refugees fleeing Syria and other nations where they are facing unprecedented levels of persecution have this fundamental human right. It is our duty to ensure these rights are fulfilled […]

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 have committed crimes. Melissa Goldstein analyses recent cases surrounding Article 8 and finds that UK judges are currently interpreting Article 8 in far narrower terms. Download the […]

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons joins call for a time limit on detention

Nick Hardwick, the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, has today found that Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre ‘is failing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable women.’ For the first time, the government-appointed inspector has joined calls from a parliamentary inquiry, which René Cassin collected and submitted evidence to, for a time limit on […]

The René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ 2015 Essay Competition – results

We asked ‘Religion and human rights – compatible or conflicting?’ Danny Finkelstein, Associate Editor of The Times judged the shortlisted entries. His verdict: “These were all very good essays, a credit to their writers and to the prize.

Read the winning and shortlisted essays and what Danny says about them.

Religious Leaders on Immigration Detention: A Force to be Reckoned With

Leaders from René Cassin and Tzelem attended the London Church Refugee Network meeting to discuss interfaith campaigning on indefinite detention. Read more here.

Detention Interfaith Tent

Recently, Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders assembled at Harmondsworth Moor. The Moor sits five miles from the home of Magna Carta and a few feet away from Harmondsworth Detention Centre. The faith leaders met to raise their voice together in solidarity with those held in indefinite immigration detention in the UK as part of the […]

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 to have an upper time limit on detention.

Launch of Trafficking Survivor Care Standards

Although it is difficult to establish the exact scale of human trafficking, due to the hidden nature of this crime, available data suggest that there could be millions of trafficked people across the world. The Human Trafficking Foundation has formed an Expert Working Group which brings together practitioners from the anti-trafficking field to discuss ways […]

Detention Fast-Track Procedure Suspended

Minister for Immigration James Brokenshire has today announced the suspension of the Detained Fast Track asylum process in its entirety, following a series of successful legal challenges brought by Detention Action. The announcement follows the suspension of the appeals stage of the Fast Track by the Court of Appeal on Friday. The Minister said: ‘Recently the […]

‘Time for a Time Limit’ – Interfaith Tent

Harmondsworth fence

On Sunday July 5 (Ramadan and 17th of Tammuz) at Harmondsworth Moor (UB7 0PD)

‘ … since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt’

We call on people of all faiths and none to gather near Harmondsworth Detention Centre – in solidarity with the strangers at our gates.

Free event – all welcome

“He was the human of Human Rights”

We are sad that our great friend, advisor, supporter and one of our founding figures, Clemens Nathan, has passed away. Clemens has been a guiding force in our work since René Cassin’s inception, and his presence and shepherding of our organisation extended from attending our events and speaking to our lawyer and activist supporters, to […]

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 why she believes that as a Holocaust survivor human rights are vital for everyone.The government has announced its intention to ‘bring forward proposals for a […]

Fear and prejudice here and abroad

Fear and prejudice here and abroad Gay, lesbian and bisexual asylum seekers face discrimination at every step of the process. The already harrowing experience of indefinite detention is worsened when you experience an extra layer of prejudice. The UK must do more to prevent harm coming to people seeking sanctuary on our shores.

Submission made to independent review of ODW visas

René Cassin Submission to ODW Review Overseas domestic workers in the UK are especially vulnerable to abuse, as they may not speak English, may not have knowledge of their rights, and have limited access to justice. Tying workers to their employers fosters labour and criminal abuse and must be opposed. René Cassin advocates reform of […]

René Cassin submits evidence to review of immigration detention

René Cassin were invited to submit evidence to the the Shaw Review of Welfare in Immigration Detention. Our central proposal is a simple one – the abolition of indefinite detention. René Cassin Shaw Review

Sudan Update: Bashir Sweeps Election

Bashir Sweeps Sudanese Elections Omar al-Bashir has extended his quarter-century rule of Sudan after a dubiously run election that saw him win 94 percent of the presidential vote, and his National Congress Party win 323 of 426 parliamentary seats. The international community must not forget the victims of genocide, and an ICC warrant for his arrest […]

Expert panel: How to break the chains of modern slavery?

Breaking the Chains On the 22nd of April, René Cassin was pleased to hear from renowned experts Parosha Chandran and Dr Aidan McQuade to discuss the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the future direction of anti-slavery advocacy. Chaired by Dr Rosa Freedman of Birmingham University and hosted by Berwin Leighton Paisner, the event was a great […]

Faith leaders meet at roundtable on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Rights

Interfaith Roundtable Summary Faith leaders from a wide range of religions and denominations came together on the 15th of April to discuss the problems faced by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in the UK. They gained a fascinating insight into the severe and institutionalised discrimination experienced by these groups, with community activists, legal experts and academics also […]

Rabbis speak out after visit to detention centre

Rabbis speak out after visit to detention centre Representatives from the rabbinical social justice group Tzelem attended the Harmondsworth Detention Centre to see conditions first-hand. They spoke to detainees and their stories shocked and moved them. After seeing the physical and mental damage caused to vulnerable people, they brought a message home to their communities: […]

‘Lost Souls’ of the Detention System

‘Lost Souls’ of the Detention System The House of Lords debated immigration detention on the 26th of March 2015, demonstrating great compassion for the plight of some of the most vulnerable people in Britain. Lord Lloyd of Berwick, in his valedictory speech, chose to discuss this pressing issue, and René Cassin was present to capture […]

Modern Slavery – breaking the chains

A René Cassin free public event on Wednesday 22 April at Berwin Leighton Paisner, London EC4R 9HA.

Slavery is not history. In the UK today there are as many as 13,000 victims. Two leading experts examine this modern scourge and what can be done to combat it.

The René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ Essay Competition

“Religion and human rights – compatible or conflicting?” Every year René Cassin runs an essay competition to get people thinking about important human rights issues. This year we tackle the two concepts at the core of our organisation; religion and human rights. Do you have an interest in human rights and would like the opportunity […]

Immigration detention – “expensive, ineffective and unjust”

Harmondsworth fence

René Cassin welcomes today’s report by The Parliamentary Inquiry into the use of Immigration Detention in the UK. The report damns the current system as “expensive, ineffective and unjust” and calls for fundamental reform. The cross-party inquiry recommends that: There should be a time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can […]

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 distinguish between serious and trivial human rights. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores how this proposed distinction contradicts the contemporary international understanding of the human […]

Joint Letter on Responsibility To Protect

Last week René Cassin, together with a number of civil society organisations, took part in a joint initiative calling for all UK political parties to maintain commitment to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and atrocity prevention.   We are deeply disturbed by the on-going conflicts in the Central African Republic, Syria, Iraq, Burma and North […]

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 atrocities in the 20th century. The UK was one of the first countries to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by enacting the […]

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle There is a significant discord between the number of immigrants detained in the UK and that reflected by the official Home Office figure. This is because government statistics arbitrarily ignore an entire class of immigrant detainees: those held in Prison Service Establishments. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores the implications […]

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, 27 January 2015, is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

René Cassin believes that one of the most critical legacies of the Holocaust is the understanding that the fight against human rights violations will never end, and that we as a society must be vigilant to any erosion of our human rights …

Statement on attacks in Paris – 7 January 2015

René Cassin is shocked by the murders that took place last week. We have a particular connection to these dreadful events. We hope and believe that the human virtues of tolerance and respect will triumph over hatred and suspicion …

Objection to Campsfield expansion

Immoral, Inefficient, Ill-timed … René Cassin calls for halt to plans to expand Immigration Removal Centre 14 January 2015 As part of our work with the Detention Forum and our ongoing campaign to end indefinite detention, René Cassin has called for a moratorium on the expansion of the detention estate. In line with this call we have submitted […]

Valley of Sighs – film screening

Saturday 31 January 2015, 7pm – Conway Hall, London WC1R 4RL

In Holocaust Memorial Week, this powerful documentary remembers a forgotten genocide from the Second World War.

Screening is followed with Q&A session with the film’s writer, director and producer.

‘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.

René Cassin wins an award and commendation from the Prime Minister

René Cassin has been honoured during Interfaith week by FaithAction for our work with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. Read what Prime Minister David Cameron has to say about it here.

New Website Launched

Welcome to our new website, we hope you like its fresh look and feel! It is supposed to be more user-friendly but please let us know if you encounter any issues or errors, sometimes it takes a while to get these things right. Happy browsing.

New Faces at René Cassin

René Cassin is growing and over the summer we have been joined by two new members of staff. Sam Grant joined the René Cassin team in June as our Campaigns and Programmes Officer. You may already know Sam from his time with Liberal Judaism. Sam has also just completed his Masters in Human Rights at […]

Helping asylum seekers tell their story

During my time with René Cassin, I have been meeting with asylum seekers who had been detained in UK immigration removal centres. They had very different stories but with something in common: they all had experienced great suffering in their lives. It was not easy for me to hear their stories, but obviously it was even […]

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 proclamation.”  Mary Robinson  What is a Human Right? Briefly put, a human right is a right you have by virtue of being human. However, this […]

Campaigns

René Cassin works to protect and promote the rights of vulnerable individuals and communities – particularly on issues that resonate with the Jewish experience:

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.

Standing together against hate: the launch of #CutItOut campaign in Parliament

Kate Green MP: “Hatred of one group is hatred of us all.”

Today, on Anti-Slavery Day we are focussing on those small, often unnoticed, places, close to home, where human rights begin

Slavery is not history. It would be comforting to think that it ended with William Wilberforce’s Abolition Act in 1833. But it didn’t. It is here and it is now. A thoroughly modern manifestation of heartless exploitation and human misery. All happening today, right under our noses. No wonder Theresa May called it ‘the great […]

Cut It Out Campaign

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers share a history of persecution with Jewish people. Targeted by the Nazis during the Holocaust, faced with open prejudice and official indifference, and now subjected to a rise in hate speech and online abuse. In 2017, 30% of reported anti-Muslim hate incidents and 18% of reported Anti-Semitic incidents occurred online. Three […]

Modern Slavery and Homelessness Workshops

Sign up for our free evening workshops on 6th and 13th November 2019

Xinjiang – “never again” is happening again

René Cassin Submission to Parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion and human rights defenders

Gender equality and modern day slavery: is girl power the answer?

Intern Alice reports on the gendered aspect of modern slavery and suggests possible solutions.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week: Cut It Out

Launch of our anti-hate crime campaign, Wed 16 Oct 5pm, Houses of Parliament

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 meant in theory not to discriminate against disabled people, too often discrimination takes place in practice. By incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) […]

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

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

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day 2019

Members of the Jewish community gathered at Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial to show solidarity with members of the Roma community for Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

County lines – the child criminal exploitation on our doorsteps

Ben Lewis reports on an often missed aspect of child exploitation in the UK

The Rule of Law and Socio-Economic Justice

Professor Geraldine van Bueren argues for a new approach

Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment: Britain’s Immigration System Then and Now

Report of our Parliamentary event for Refugee Week 2019

The Lethal Policy of Indefinite Immigration Detention

René Cassin’s Campaigns Officer, Hannah Swirsky, writes in Jewish News Online: In Britain each year, around 25,000 migrants and asylum seekers are routinely locked up in detention centres – often for months, sometimes for years. No trial. No redress. No knowing when they will be released. No time limit on how long they can be […]

Refugee Week 2019

René Cassin is proud to support Refugee Week 2019 (17-23 June). Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, co-authored by our namesake Monsieur René Cassin, states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” and “the right to a nationality”. The need to protect these […]

Jewish Action Against Persecution of Uyghurs

Inspired to act? Here’s what you can do to oppose the persecution of Uyghurs.

That’s Not a Good Look: Fast Fashion and Modern Slavery

Lauren Chaplin explores whether, six years on from Rana Plaza tragedy, anything has changed.

Immigration Regulations Undermine NRM Despite Reforms

By Jane Kilpatrick Trafficking victim Peter came in contact with @ECPATUK after he ran away from his traffickers, in desperate need of support. In the #UK, the National Referral Mechanism is supposed to help victims, but cases are piling up & Peter is still waiting. #NRMhttps://t.co/1FkTArqIvB — ECPAT International (@ECPAT) January 30, 2019 In October […]

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 be parted from him in their old age.   But when Edith points out to Social Services that this would breach their human right to private […]

As Modern Slavery Starts to Emerge from the Shadows, are we Ready for it?

Will Bordell March was a month of modern slavery data-points – and they’re not as dull as they might sound. Across the board, statistic after statistic shows a steep increase: in referrals, in reporting, in victims, in prosecutions. This isn’t a sign that more modern slavery is happening, but that more is being spotted – […]

Never Again? A Jewish response to the Uyghur crisis

This René Cassin event examines religious persecution in China – Thursday 9 May, 7-8.30pm

MPs Call for End to Indefinite Detention

By Bella Lever Last month, the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report which called for a time limit on indefinite detention. One of the key reasons they list in support of a time limit is the potential for indefinite detention to ‘trigger mental illness and exacerbate mental health conditions where they already exist’. […]

Jewish Community urges Govt to protect right to home for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

A cross denomination of Rabbis and community organisations have signed our letter to @ukhomeoffice to express our concern over discrimination and racism targeted towards Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK. pic.twitter.com/6Me47iBHC7 — René Cassin (@Rene_Cassin) March 5, 2019 A cross-denominational group of Rabbis and community leaders have signed René Cassin’s letter to the […]

International Women’s Day 2019: Fundraising for Freedom

As we mark International Women’s Day, René Cassin is asking Youth Movements and local communities to organise fundraising events to raise money for female victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. As well as celebrating the female trail-blazers and high achievers, it is also important to think of the marginalised women whose daily realities of […]

Making the Jewish Case for Human R