Righteous Women – René Cassin’s Women’s Seder

What is your Seder night like? Does your father or grandfather sit at the head of the table and lead the telling of the exodus? Do you remember our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Do you discuss what the four sons have to say?

What about the righteous women?

Remembering Amir Siman-Tov and the cost of the UK’s immigration system

by Michael Goldin, Coordinator of the Detention Jewish Visitors Group On Sunday 1st March I attended an event to mark the yatrzheit of a friend of mine, Amir Siman-Tov, who died in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre in 2016. The event was put together by Jewish Solidarity Action who organise to promote equality, justice and anti-racist […]

Purim, the Book of Esther and Human Rights

by Moses Seitler, Education and Community Engagement Officer at René Cassin A summary of most Jewish holidays is they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat! Purim follows this basic and brilliant structure, but there may be more to it than that. On a closer reading, the book of Esther and the practices of […]

Huawei and the internment of three million Muslim Uyghurs

by Sheldon Stone The UK government’s decision (28 January 2020) on future of Huawei, as a leading telecommunications provider in the country, undermines the UK’s long and celebrated tradition of defending human rights at home, and abroad. The tech giant’s world-class connectivity comes at the expense of the Uyghur people. Huawei has actively participated in […]

‘Standing together’ or ‘a race apart’?

The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is: ‘Stand Together’. While not a panacea in itself, there is a definite case for subscribing to such an approach, provided we remain mindful of certain facts. From a Gypsy Traveller perspective, which you are entirely free to disagree with, it is worth emphasising a couple of key […]

Intern-al Reflections

Alice Akca reflects on her internship at René Cassin at th end of 2019, and looks outlines her hopes for the organisation in 2020

Marking the anniversary of the UN Convention Against Genocide – 9 December 2019

Today marks 71st anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention against Genocide and World Genocide Day, established by the UN, to commemorate and honour the victims of genocides and call for the prevention of the crime. Central to the prevention of genocide is the establishment and protection of human rights, the legacies of our […]

Make Your Vote a Vote for Human Rights

With just over a week left until polling day, we have been thinking about what the future holds for human rights in the UK. We have read through the manifestos to see what each party says about some of our campaign areas. We have summarised our key findings below, or you can read a more […]

Modern slavery and homelessness: René Cassin workshop

by Alice Akca, René Cassin Intern  “The majority of modern slavery victims in the UK are from the UK.” This statement, presented to us by Caroline Barnard, Communications Officer, from The Clewer Initiative at our first workshop, was one of multiple surprising facts offered to us that evening. We often view modern slavery as an […]

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. #NRM — 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 […]