Commission supports myth-busting human rights

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has today (17 August 2011) written to the Prime Minister to say it will "help to dispel myths that may have built up" about human rights and to help crime victims understand their human rights.

The Commission’s Chair, Trevor Phillips, wrote to David Cameron in response to the Prime Minister’s speech about the recent disorder to offer its support to Ministers.

The Commission's Chair has already written to Sir Hugh Orde at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to try to ensure that misinterpretation of human rights legislation does not in any way inhibit effective policing and protection of the public.

In the letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Phillips says:

"The perception that law breakers can hide behind the protections of human rights serves no one, in fact it holds back our progress towards a society which respects rights and responsibilities.

"The Commission has begun to set out what steps might be taken to improve conditions, especially for more vulnerable people. Our Home Care Inquiry, for example, which will be published this autumn, will highlight ways in which human rights can help to deliver better protection to older people. And we are accelerating the work we are doing on victims’ rights.

"... Human rights should not be about bureaucratic and unnecessary restraints, or rewards for bad behaviour. Far from helping people to avoid responsibilities, the key principle of human rights is that we all have responsibilities towards each other."

Ends

For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.

For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

Notes to editors

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has an online resource about human rights to help public sector bodies in England and Wales.

The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2011