At the start of 2017 LCHR launched three new campaigns. The first aims to promote a fair and humane immigration and asylum system in the context of Brexit and the migration crisis, and also to protect employment and equality rights during the Brexit process. The second aims to safeguard human rights in counter-terrorism. The third will be to continue our work to protect the Human Rights Act which the government has pledged to abolish and, in addition, to promote access to justice and better provision of legal aid.
Brexit and migration
Following the Brexit vote and amid growing anti-immigrant sentiment, we will be working to tackle discrimination in the immigration and asylum systems and ensure that immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees are treated fairly and humanely.
We will also be working to protect the rights of EU residents currently living in the UK, including their residency rights, employment rights, and their access to healthcare and education. And we will be campaigning to protect everyone in the UK from any attempt to restrict employment and equality rights as part of the Brexit process.
Human rights in counter-terrorism
Following the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act in 2016 and amid the government’s efforts to develop an effective counter-extremism strategy, LCHR will be using this campaign to stimulate a debate among Labour members, MPs and civil society on how to balance security with human rights.
Today, counter-terrorism and counter-extremism programmes allow security services unprecedented access to our personal communications data. Meanwhile, the controversial Prevent programme has not only interfered with human rights, but alienated large sections of UK society, fostering an atmosphere of mistrust and surveillance in schools, nurseries and within wider society. Our campaign will be inclusive of all of these elements.
The Human Rights Act & ECHR
The Conservatives have pledged to repeal the HRA and have threatened to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. We are campaigning to equip the Labour Party with the best possible defence of the HRA and ECHR to ensure your rights and privileges are protected.
The ECHR and HRA have given critical protection to people facing all sorts of challenging circumstances. In Britain they have been used to help women fleeing domestic violence, stop cases of modern day slavery, ensure equal treatment for LGBT people, prevent older people from being separated from their husbands and wives in care, stop discrimination in the workplace, and maintain the ban on corporal punishment in schools.
Since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act of 2012, the government has been chipping away at the types of legal aid that are available to the most vulnerable in society. The types of cases no longer included are some family cases, education cases which do not involve special educational needs, most debt matters, welfare benefits cases that don’t reach the Upper Tribunal, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court and many cases involving employment and homelessness. We will be campaigning to protect legal aid amid these cuts.
For details on how to get involved in any of our campaigns email firstname.lastname@example.org