“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." Eleanor Roosevelt
Today is Human Rights Day, a day that celebrates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Our Human Rights Lead, Jacqui Graves, explains how we are asking party leaders to commit to protecting human rights in the UK.
Enabling us all to live with equal dignity and respect
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10th December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): a milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.
Whatever the outcome of the General Election, 2020 will be an important year for the UK. Many decisions will be made about the sort of country we want to be, but we must ensure that our Human Rights Act remains an integral part not just of our constitutional arrangement, but also of people’s everyday lives, enabling us all to live with equal dignity and respect.
Ahead of Human Rights Day and the General Election, the British Institute of Human Rights drafted a letter to party leaders to commit to safeguarding universal human rights, which Sue Ryder Chief Executive, Heidi Travis, has signed in support:
Dear Party Leaders,
As we approach the 2019 General Election we ask you to join us in celebrating Human Rights Day by committing to protecting universal human rights in the UK.
Human rights, as universal standards shared across the globe, were laid down 71 years ago in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, inspiring law and positive action across the world. Our very own law, the Human Rights Act, draws on these universal rights, setting legal standards to protect people across the UK whether they are in hospitals or care homes, social services or places of detention, housing or schools.
Whatever the outcome of Thursday's election, 2020 will be an important year for the UK. Many decisions will need to be made about what sort of country we want to be, going forward, and what relationship people have with those we place in power.
We ask you to stand firm on our hard-won freedoms. We ask you to stand firm on ensuring that our Human Rights Act remains an integral part not just of our constitutional arrangement, but also of people's everyday lives, enabling us all to live with equal dignity and respect.
We are asking you to join us in celebrating Human Rights Day by committing to protecting universal human rights in the UK.
Sue Ryder has trained over 3000 staff across the UK to respect and enable people's personal preferences and choices at end of life, through our training programme: 'What matters to me: a human rights approach to end of life care'. Our experience from delivering the training means we understand the importance of human rights, as we only get one chance to get it right.
You can find out more about Sue Ryder's Human Rights and End of Life Care free training workshops here or download a practitioner's guide for human rights in end of life care, created in collaboration with the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR).
Human Rights Lead
Jacqui is a Registered General Nurse with 33 years' experience. At Sue Ryder, she leads on our 'What Matters to Me: a human rights approach to end of life care' training programme.