Introducing… the Human Rights Information Project

27 January 2015 by

PrintSome exciting news.

I have a new project. The aim is to change the face of human rights. 

As readers of this blog will know, I often complain about bad human rights journalism. But inadequate reporting is a symptom of a deeper problem: poor public understanding of human rights.

It is time to do something about it. Introducing the Human Rights Information Project (HRIP).

HRIP will:

  • Radically rethink the way we talk about and present human rights;
  • Use social media to explain why human rights matter;
  • Build the tools to defend human rights against misrepresentations;
  • Make information about human rights accessible and even beautiful.

The project is supported by Global Dialogue, a charity registered in England and Wales with a wide-ranging purpose to support human rights in Britain and internationally.

I will be taking a few months off from the UK Human Rights Blog to build HRIP (for solicitors: don’t worry, I will still be practising). HRIP and UK Human Rights Blog will work closely together. HRIP has no connection with my Chambers, 1 Crown Office Row.

Volunteer for HRIP

The application deadline for the Researcher/Project Coordinator post has now closed. Click here for volunteering opportunities (closing date Thursday 12 February 2015).

Follow @rights_info on Twitter and keep an eye on the UK Human Rights Blog for information about our launch.


  1. ObiterJ says:

    A marvellous idea. I’m rather long in the tooth and too far away to apply !! Persuading popular new media to have balance in their reports is immensely difficult and corrections are published minimally and long after the damage is done ! Please keep the UK Human Rights blog honoured with your presence. I’m sure you can fit something in !! Give an important task to a busy man and all that …! Every best wish for the project.

  2. Captain Sensible says:

    Could I make a bit of a radical suggestion ? Perhaps to add a bit of balance in your new quest to inform and educate, you might want to look at some bad examples or decisions of the ECHR. For example the recent award of damages to pirates arrested at sea, which was roundly criticised, even by the readers of this blog. The public are highly suspicious of anything EU or HR at this time.

    I feel this would build some credibility with the great unwashed such as myself, and ensure you address the audience who only see incorrect reporting and comments on social media. If you just intend to say human rights and the ECHR are wonderful rah, rah, rah….then I feel you will not see any real change in the public’s attitudes towards HR law, no matter how much you explain and present your case.

    I’ve said before in comments on previous blog posts that a more nuanced or balanced view is required, which didnt seem to go down well, so I wont hold hold my breath – just in case.

    1. Adam Wagner says:

      Captain – balance is what I am aiming for, I entirely respect your point.

  3. Sarah richardson says:

    Fantastic idea, long overdue to redress the balance. I teach Human Rights in Healthcare, Mental Capacity Act & DoLS to healthcare professionals in HE! Need to promote more understanding of human rights principles, case law and application to practice, stop people from being afraid of human rights and start using them correctly !!!

  4. harjinderbahra says:

    Great idea Adam. I use the human rights ‘lens’ as a simple but powerful tool to aid critical thinking about society and the workplace. Was a contributor to the Department of Health ‘human rights in healthcare : a framework for local action’ in 2007/8, and since then have applied human rights (legal and principles) to the NHS with very positive results. Currently working across London with various NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups to ‘reframe’ their work environment and commissioning intentions on the basis of the human rights principles of fairness, equality, respect, dignity and autonomy (the FREDA principles). Note the ‘respect’ in FREDA refers to ‘respect me as a human being’ and not to ‘respect my culture and belief system’ – big difference when you apply a human rights lens e.g. Female Genial Mutilation i.e. cultural rights (my cultural right to mutilate my daughter in the name of ‘female circumcision’) vs. human rights (my right to grow up as a complete woman unfettered to fulfil my full human potential). Have also developed a human-centred approach to healthcare as opposed a person-centred approach (full of problems when cultural/religious factors can often get in the way and stop a ‘doctor being a doctor’ by curtailing the doctor’s professional role as a medic). I will be delighted to share on HRIP many more real world examples about the application of the human rights lens (or approach) to navigate a very complex society we live in. Best wishes – Harjinder

  5. Lofthouse says:
  6. dbfamilylaw says:

    HRIP will radically rethink the way we present human rights in the UK by: x Using new media to promote understanding of the importance of human rights x Building new tools for those who want to promote support for human rights x Making information about human rights laws, cases and principles accessible and even beautiful

    I’d love to know how you get on, Adam: clarity in law is top of my 10 point manifesto for family law reform.


    David Burrows Solicitor advocate, trainer and writer Kemp House, 152 City Road, LONDON EC1V 2NX Tel 07968 799 972; +33 145 218668 @dbfamilylaw

  7. Frank Cranmer says:

    And good luck with it, particularly given your proposed time-scale.

    My only regret is that you’re about to start on something which the Ministry of Justice and the FCO ought to have been doing for themselves. If governments had been proactive about human rights and their importance we might never have got into this situation. (Or am I just being naive?)

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