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December 2020 Newsletter

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To all our readers,

This is a bumper edition; we hope you enjoy it.  You may wish to get a hot drink before you settle down to read.   

We wish you a restful festive break. 

Best wishes,

The Just Fair team 

We continue to support and act in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement. We reflect and commit to change, today and every single day. Human rights belong to all people.

 We challenge laws, policies and practices which classify and rank people in ways that cause exclusion, disadvantage and mistreatment on the basis of race, colour, descent, or ethnic origin.

We recognise that a structural and intersectional human rights approach to tackling discriminatory abuse of power will ensure a fairer and equal society for everyone.

Just Fair marks Human Rights Day 2020
 

We were very busy marking Human Rights Day on 10 December, read on to catch up on some of our activities.
 

Human Rights Day Statement – response to COVID-19 

Representatives from charities, non-government organisations, think tanks, academic institutions, regional alliances, and community organisers joined us to mark Human Rights Day with the following statement:  

We believe that a just and more equal UK requires improved protection of our human rights by giving, for the first time, legal recognition to the rights to health, housing, food, social security, education and just conditions of work.   

See the full statement and list of signatories here.  

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

We launched our report on public support for protecting ESR 

On Human Rights Day, we also released the results of our survey on public opinion on economic and social rights in England. 

We were interested to find out what people in England think are the essential conditions needed to live in dignity, safety, and security and whether these things be protected in domestic law.    

We analysed the results, and you can watch the 60 second animation summarising them here.   

The findings confirm the view that protecting our economic and social rights is supported by people living in England. 

You can view the summary of findings here, or read the full report here

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

 

We supported the ‘Back the Bill’ campaign to recognise housing as a fundamental right in Wales

The campaign to recognise housing as a fundamental right in Wales has been boosted by the backing of key signatories. On Human Rights Day, We co-signed this letter, joining signatories from housing, elected representatives and commissioners, academia, the charity and third sectors to back the right to housing in Wales. 

‘Back the Bill’ is a joint campaign run by housing charities Tai Pawb, CIH Cymru and Shelter Cymru following the commissioning of a feasibility study in June 2018 in conjunction with Dr Simon Hoffman of Swansea University. 

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

Just Fair responds to the UK Government’s launched review of the Human Rights Act 1998 
Just Fair joins 110 groups urging the UK Government to stand for the Human Rights Act 

On 7 December 2020, the UK Government announced that a panel of experts will examine whether there is a need to reform the Human Rights Act 1998.  

At Just Fair, we believe the Human Rights Act is essential, and that the UK Government should be building on, and adding to, the human rights measures that help us create a fairer and more just world.  As such, we hope that the expert panel will take this opportunity to add greater protection to the everyday things we need to enjoy our lives.   

Read more about the launch of the independent review here

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver


On Human Rights Day, we also joined 110 groups from across the UK to issue an open letter, organised by the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), to the UK Government’s Prime Minister and political leaders, urging them to respond proportionately to Covid-19, protect people’s rights and the rule of law, and to stand by the Human Rights Act.  

In the letter, we urge these individuals to stand for the “shared values of equal dignity, respect, fairness and decency; to protect people’s rights and the rule of law, to stand for the Human Rights Act.” 

To see the full letter and list of signatories, click here

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

Ending evictions of people with No Recourse to Public Funds

In October we signed a letter, coordinated by NACCOMAsylum Matters, and Migrants’ Rights Network, to the UK Government to reverse the decision to evict people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) into homelessness. 

A response has been received by both Chris Philp, Immigration Minister, and Kelly Tolhust, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing.  The lead signatories for the initial joint letter responded directly to both Ministers, reiterating key asks relating to court proceedings which are stopping evictions from asylum accommodation and continued concerns about gaps in funding and support for people with NRPF. Please see here for further actions you can take to stop evictions of people living with NRPF. 

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

UN review of children’s rights: Just Fair provides evidence on poverty and homelessness in England 

On 7 December the Children’s Rights Alliance England  launched a civil society report to United Nations (UN) experts on issues which affect the rights of children in England. This submission is for the upcoming UN review of the UK State Party’s compliance with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC)

We were one of 90 charities from across England who warn that a number of critical children’s rights issues must be urgently addressed by the UK Government to prevent worsening impacts on the most disadvantaged children. 

We were invited to join the CRAE expert Oral Evidence Gathering Session on Child Poverty and Homelessness in September, and we provided written evidence on a number of economic and social child rights issues to inform CRAE’s civil society list of issues submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. See our key issues summarised here which were included in the final submission to the UN. 

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

Digitisation of the justice system: Just Fair provides evidence of the impacts on economic and social rights 

The UK Government is increasing the use of technology in the justice system in England and Wales. While digital technology is regarded as an integral part of everyday life, and remote, virtual, and online proceedings bring benefits to some people, research shows that certain groups of people do not have access, or are unable to use, digital processes.    

In September, we submitted to the UK Parliament Justice Select Committee Inquiry. Our submission included evidence on the social and economic implications of the digital transformation of the court estate and access to justice, and recommendations for human rights measures the UK Government could take to ensure no one is disproportionately affected or disadvantaged by it.  

A summary of our key findings can be read here, and our full submission with our policy recommendations is now available in the public domain. 

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

A digital lens on human rights – new campaign in the North East

Some people are still struggling to meet their essential needs and access important information. Access to the internet is often seen as a luxury and a privilege. However, the internet is a gateway for people to exercise and enjoy many of their everyday needs, including their right to education, work, social security, and housing. 

The Better ConNEcted campaign, which has grown out of the Social Rights Alliance North East (SRANE) project, advocates for digital inclusion in the North East of England. Over the past 9 months, the Better ConNEcted campaign has seen the impact of digital exclusion first hand across North East England. 

On Human Rights Day 2020, Anya Bonner at Just Fair, and Carrie Rosenthal at Recovery College Collective, wrote on digital inclusion and human rights, on behalf of the Better ConNEcted campaign.   

To find out more, click here. For more information, contact our North East Regional Manager Anya Bonner.  

Just Fair and CPAG submit evidence on implications of suspending free transport for U18s in London


With Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), we sent a joint submission of written evidence to the Transport Committee inquiry into coronavirus: implications for transport, in October. 

CPAG is working directly with children, young people, and their parents in London on its ‘Don’t Zap the Zip’ campaign, which aims to stop the UK Government from temporarily suspending free travel for 11-17 year-olds in London during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

We analyse CPAG’s evidence of potential impact of the suspension on families and show that the proposed suspension is in breach of the UK Government’s international and domestic human rights obligations.  

Read the full submission here. For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

Just Fair submits to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

Just Fair submits evidence with LAWRS, Safety4Sisters, ICOS, the Haref Network and Praxis   
Just Fair submits evidence with The Equality Trust and Compassion in Politics

With Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS), Safety4Sisters, the International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS), Praxis and Connected Voice (the Haref Network), we produced a joint submission of evidence to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.  

This submission highlights the inequalities and impacts of discrimination faced by specific groups of people across regions of England and sets out the long-term policy changes and immediate responses that UK Government, local authorities, statutory services, and different sectors must take to protect the rights of all people.  

See the full submission here. For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver






With The Equality Trust and Compassion in Politics, we produced this joint submission which is a two-fold response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities call for evidence and confirms the importance of implementing S1 of the Equality Act 2010 – the socio-economic duty in addressing race and ethnic disparities. 

Read the full submission here. For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

 

Just Fair launches its Guest Blog on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  

We are thrilled to launch our Guest Blog which encourages dialogue and debate on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) in the UK. We share legal analysis of recent ESCR developments, including case law, current litigation, legislation, policy-making, campaigning, lived experience and activism. 

We are delighted to present the first article of a three-part series on destitution and ESCR, authored by Dr Luke D. Graham.  Dr Luke D. Graham is a Lecturer in Law at Coventry University. His ESRC Funded PhD undertaken at Lancaster University Law School was titled ‘Destitution as A Denial of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Addressing Destitution in The UK Through a Human Rights Framework’. @lukedgraham 

For more information contact our Campaigns and Advocacy Lead, Misha Nayak-Oliver

 

#RightsBridge Event 1: Bringing together lived and learnt experience  

Cartoon by Graham Joe Ogilvie at Ogilvie Design Limited 

What do everyday people need to enjoy everyday life? What are the essential conditions needed to live a life of dignity, safety, and freedom? 

​Join us for a learning experience with a purpose. This first event of an 8-month series is the beginning of a shared journey that will bring together people with lived and learnt experiences of poverty. To find out more and to register please click here

 

New Social Rights Alliance website launched! 

We are excited to announce that the new Social Rights Alliance England website is now available to keep up to date with all the Alliances’ news and campaigns. With bases growing in the North East, Manchester, and Yorkshire & Humber the new website will be an exciting platform to share learning and reach out to new activists. You can explore our resources and news here and sign up to the Social Rights Alliance England mailing list. 

 

 

What are we reading?

The Big Issue, ‘Human Rights Day: The fight for rights goes on for food and housing' 
 

Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England, ‘Poverty in the pandemic: an update on the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children 
 

Child Poverty Action Group, The two-child limit: impact on abortion 
 
Human Rights Watch, ‘Every Child in the UK Deserves a Safe and Secure Home 
 
Institute of Health Equity, 'Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review 
 
Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), ‘Independent Food Bank Emergency Food Parcel Distribution in the UK' 
 

IPPR North, ‘State of the North 2020/21: Power up, level up, rise up’ 

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ‘Destitution in the UK 2020’ 
 
Liberty, ‘Homelessness and public spaces / pspos poverty no longer penalised in landmark liberty legal action’  
 
UK Government Department of Education, ‘Holiday Activities and Food: Literature Review’  


 

What are we listening to? 


Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization speaks on global health and human rights at the HRLC Annual Lecture  
 

Each Other, Excluded UK Documentary 


 

What are we supporting? 


Fans Supporting Foodbanks petition ‘Make access to food a legal right - no one in the UK should go hungry’. At 10,000 signatures, the UK Government will respond to the petition. 
 

Food insecurity EDM (Early Day Motion) 1251 tabled on 7 December 2020 by Ian Byrne MP 
 

The Shift’s petition Global Homelessness Action: An Urgent Call for Governments to Secure Human Rights.  

 

Social Justice Through Human Rights
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