Refugee crisis tests Europe on human rights – the Round-up

Photo Credit: The Financial Times

In the news

Stemming migration flows from Turkey has been set as “a priority” at the 7 March emergency summit of EU and Turkish leaders in Brussels. EU officials are seeking to persuade Turkey to enforce the ‘action plan’ signed in November, under which Ankara agreed to curb the number of refugees crossing into Greece in return for three billion euros in aid and the speeding up of its EU membership bid.

However, human rights groups have been critical of the EU focus on ensuring refugees remain in Turkey. Amnesty International warned ahead of the meeting that is was “unacceptable” to expect that responsibility should be carried by a country already hosting three million refugees.

“Using Turkey as a ‘safe third country’ is absurd. Many refugees still live in terrible conditions, some have been deported back to Syria and security forces have even shot at Syrians trying to cross the border,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia. Continue reading

10 human rights cases that defined 2015

Supreme Court

Photo credit: Guardian

It has been a fascinating year in which to edit this Blog. Political and social challenges – from continued government cuts to the alarming rise of Islamic State – have presented new human rights conundrums that have, as ever, slowly percolated to the doors of the country’s highest courts. And all this during the year of an astonishing General Election result and amid continually shifting sands around the future of the Human Rights Act. Continue reading

Shaker Aamer’s release: What happens next?

And so, thirteen years after his capture, eight years after the US Government cleared him for release, and seven years after President Obama’s spectacularly broken promise to shut down Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer has left the prison, as innocent as the day he went in.

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The European Court of Human Rights Uncovered

uncovered-frontI am are delighted to announce the launch of RightsInfo’s new infographic project: 

The European Court of Human Rights Uncovered: What it does, who it protects, why it matters

If you care about spreading accurate information on human rights, then please share the infographic and individual cards as widely as possible.

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Event: Debating the Constitution after the Election

ukcla-manchester-logosI’m delighted to say that I will be giving the keynote address at the UK Constitutional Law Association‘s one-day conference at the University of Manchester on the subject of “Debating the Constitution after the Election”. Topical, eh?

The conference is on Wednesday 24 June. My keynote is entitled: The slow death of the UK Human rights system: Is it just a matter of time or can the UK learn to love human rights? I wrote that before the Election, so perhaps remove “slow”.

Full details and line up here and below. There are two ways to attend the conference:

(1) Be a member of the UKCLA (here’s how) and attend for free by simply e-mailing UKCLACON15@manchester.ac.uk ; OR

(2) Pay the £10 registration fee and register via this EventBrite link.

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RightsInfo update – Launch film and more

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 08.43.14

RightsInfo (www.rightsinfo.org) has just had its first full week and I wanted to update you on how things are going. 

Have you seen our brand new launch film, This is RightsInfo? It has just been released, and we love it – it explains what RightsInfo is about and how we are going to change the way we communicate about human rights. If you were at the launch party, you may even spot yourself on the film.

What week it has been. We launched seven days ago.  The party at the Free Word Centre was packed out. After seven days we have already had over 40,000 page views on the site. The reaction has been amazing – you can read a sample it in this post: “Wow… just wow”, People Really Like RightsInfo And That Makes Us Very Happy.

If you want to follow RightsInfo, you can sign up to free daily or weekly email updates here. We are also on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.