Network joins human rights call on government

Thursday, September 21st 2017

The Law Centres Network has joined sixty civil society organisations in calling on the government to adopt more United Nations recommendations for strengthening human rights in the UK. 

The call, led by the British Institute of Human Rights, concerns the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a five-year monitoring exercise of human rights in UN member states. 

While other Western European states support an average of 67% of recommendations, the UK has only supported 42% of over 220 detailed recommendations in its report. Worryingly, the government has not supported ten recommendations that related to securing the future status of the Human Rights Act.

In respose, the organisations concerned have sent a joint letter to the government minister in charge, Dr Phillip Lee MP. The letter calls on the government to explain how it has decided which recommendations to support and which not.

The joint letter also calls on government to publish its plan to implement the UPR recommendations, and to involve civil society organisations in it and seek evidence from them. This is in order to improve transparency and outcomes over the next UPR period. 

Nimrod Ben-Cnaan, head of policy and profile at Law Centres Network, said:

"The Brexit process is a momentous transition attempted over a very short period. We must ensure that our universal human rights, their standards and safeguards are preserved throughout this process. Especially due to this sensitivity, government must do more to demonstrate its commitment to human rights and to reassure civil society." 

Click here for the UN's UPR national report on the UK

Click here for the list of UPR recommendations and the government's response to each

Click here for the civil society joint letter to the justice minister

Coverage: 'Britain faces rebuke over refusal to back more than 100 UN human rights targets' - Guardian