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March 2021 Newsletter

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People protesting and celebrating in the street with megaphones and placards

March was a big month for economic, social, and cultural rights in the UK, with the announcement of new human rights protection in Scotland, commitment to the socio-economic duty in Wales, and much more! 

Our new strategy 2021-22

People putting hands on top of each other, papers are underneath the hands on a table

Today, we are pleased to publish our new strategy for 2021-22, which sets out how we plan to continue to champion economic, social, and cultural rights for a fairer and more just society. Click here to download.

Scotland commits to enshrining economic, social, and cultural rights 

Many arms and hands holding many Scottish flags

On 12 March, the Scottish Government announced its plans to introduce new human rights legislation that would incorporate a number of international human rights treaties into Scots Law, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We welcome this progress and hopes the rest of the UK will follow. Our Trustee, Dr Katie Boyle reflects on this milestone here.    

Socio-economic duty to come into force in Wales 

Many Welsh flags being held by many hands

On 10 of March, the Welsh Parliament voted to bring into force the socio-economic duty contained in S1 of the Equality Act 2010 to build ‘a more equal Wales’. The duty will come into force on 31 March 2021. This is an important development in the fight against inequality, read more here.  We continue to work with many others to urge the UK Government to enact and implement the duty in England.  

Reporting back from the annual NGO meeting with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 

United Nations building with flags outside

On 5 March, we joined non government organisations (NGO) representatives from across the world to engage in an annual NGO meeting with human rights experts, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We continue to engage with international treaty bodies to improve monitoring and advocacy in the field of economic, social and cultural rights in the UK. Find out what was discussed here

Submitting evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee 

A group of women looking at papers on a table

In February, we submitted specialist evidence to the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into ‘The role of the [UK Government Equalities Office] GEO: embedding equalities across Government’. Read a summary of our evidence here

Submitting evidence to the Public Accounts Committee

Children running out of school

In March, we joined the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) to submit joint written evidence to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into ‘COVID-19: Education’, which assesses how well the UK Government’s Department for Education (DfE) managed its overall response in ‘the first national lockdown’ (23 March – 23 June 2020). Read a summary of our evidence here.

Supporting a Homeless Bill of Rights 

Apartment block

The Homeless Bill of Rights is a compilation of basic rights drawn from international human rights instruments specific to the situation of people experiencing homelessness. We are working with FEANTSA and Housing Rights Watch to encourage England local authorities to support and implement the Bill. Find out more here.

Brighton & Hove City Council adopted the Homeless Bill of Rights on 25 of March. Click here for more information.  

  

Marking Zero Discrimination Day 

Two hands from separate people, together forming a love heart

On 1 March we joined the Roma Support Group and Social Rights Alliance and many others to mark Zero Discrimination Day, highlighting the fundamental principle of non-discrimination. Click here to read the Guest Blog, and here to read our statements. 

 

Marking International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination  

Children outside, one child is holding a megaphone and speaking through it

On 21 March, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2021, we shared our commitment to end racism and build a more just society.  

Keeping up the pressure on ending NRPF 

A woman 'high-fiving' a child who is sat in a car seat

We are joining the call for the UK Government to urgently suspend the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) visa condition so that all people are protected. Click here for more information and to sign the petition to suspend NRPF. We encourage you to share this petition widely. 

We are recruiting! Would you like to join our team? 

Person with a megaphone and a crowd behind them, flowers and colours are overlaying the image

Head of Policy, Research and Campaigns 

We recruiting to a Head of Policy, Research and Campaigns, deadline 26 of April 2021, for more information visit our website and share widely! 

A hand using a calculator
Treasurer  
We are also looking for a (voluntary) Treasurer to oversee the governance of our financial affairs. Download the application pack here

Saying goodbye to Misha

We are very sad to say goodbye to Misha Nayak-Oliver, who will be leaving us at end of March. Misha has contributed so much to Just Fair’s expert research, campaigns, and advocacy work since joining in 2020, and will be greatly missed.  

New evaluation collaboration 

A cartoon hand, in the background are pie charts and graphs

We are really pleased to announce a new collaboration to evaluate our work over the coming years. Dr Jo Ferrie, Paul Pearson, Barry Black, and Aidan Flegg from the University of Glasgow, will be working with us to monitor and evaluate our research, campaigning and advocacy work and the development of the Social Rights Alliance England (SRA). We will share our learning via our website and other communication channels. 

Commenting on the inclusion of the evaluation of the SRA in the project Dr Jo Ferrie said 

“There has been attention on how the law works with human rights but not enough on how communities can use economic, social and cultural rights to achieve a standard of living, where everyone lives with dignity. This project will include exploration of how human rights can work for communities; and how communities can use human rights to improve welfare and well-being.” 

Right to clothing 

T'shirts and shirts

This month, Lottie Jackson, a fashion journalist and disability activist, contributed to our Guest Blog. Click here to read the blog ‘This is a human rights issue’: The hidden truth about clothing poverty. 

 

Social Rights Alliance News

Marking International Women's Day

Social Rights Alliance Manchester logo

Our Social Rights Alliance Manchester marked International Women’s Day 2021 by celebrating women in Wythenshawe working as frontline health and care workers in Manchester during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the blog here.

Hands holding headphones, to the right hand side is a studio microphone and in the background is a laptop
Rachael Gibbons, the Social Rights Alliance Coordinator, interviewed Martine, a housekeeper at Opal House, Wythenshawe hospital to hear her experiences of the last year. Listen to their 30 minute conversation here. Martine expressed the views and experiences of many women. 

What are we attending?

What are we reading?
 

Reminders

 

Social Justice Through Human Rights
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