Response to the Bill of Rights Bill
The UK has a proud history as one of the drafters of the European Convention on Human Rights, brought into domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). The existing human rights framework has had profound benefits for the people HBF supports, including those seeking asylum and survivors of trafficking. The HRA has been used to ensure that survivors' rights are respected and protected, has spurred the development of the UK’s anti-trafficking and modern slavery framework, and has helped to ensure that victims have a better knowledge of, and ability to, exercise their rights, among other benefits.
The Bill of Rights Bill, or ‘Rights Removal Bill’, was not about the protection of people’s human rights: it sought to scrap the HRA and replace people’s universal rights with those gifted by the government, whilst removing legal responsibility and accountability and introducing barriers to people actually having their rights upheld. This will affect us all, but will be particularly devastating for more marginalised groups, including survivors.
Jointly with Asylum Aid, we submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights' Legislative Scrutiny of the Bill of Rights Bill.
As part of a broad coalition of over 120 organisations, we also called on MPs to vote against the Rights Removal Bill, before the government announced it was shelving the bill.
On 4th October, alongside 150 other organisations, we wrote to the new Lord Chancellor calling on them to
ensure the Bill is dropped altogether.