Creating a fairer Britain
15th June 2009
A major Inquiry by the Commission has found that:
Our Human Rights Inquiry report brings together evidence from almost 3,000 people, including service providers, service users, academics, journalists and Government Ministers.
The Inquiry held evidence sessions across England and Wales. Nearly fifty separate individuals and organisations from throughout Wales gave evidence, including the Welsh Assembly Government, NHS Trusts, voluntary organisations and carers.
An Ipsos MORI survey of almost 2,000 adults commissioned as part of the Inquiry found that 84 per cent of people said they wanted human rights enshrined in the law for themselves and their families, and 81 per cent of people saw human rights as important to creating a fairer society for all.
The report makes a number of recommendations to help put human rights at the centre of public services. They include:
The Inquiry concludes that ‘less than perfect implementation’ of the Human Rights Act over the last ten years means individuals and public service providers have failed to harness its full potential and many people have yet to recognise why human rights benefit everyone.
Neil Wooding, Commissioner for Wales, and a member of the Inquiry Board, said:
“Human rights are about how we treat each other. They can be particularly helpful in ensuring that the less powerful in society are treated with dignity and respect.
“Wales has fared well in this report. Its distinctive nature shines through – Wales is a place where we share good ideas and good practice. When this happens, better services result.
“The evidence from Wales shows that there is a real appetite for placing human rights at the heart of public services.
“The Commission is committed to helping organisations understand how powerful human rights can be in improving the quality of public services and people’s lives.”
Dame Nuala O’Loan, Chair of the Human Rights Inquiry, said:
“The evidence we’ve gathered is very clear: the public overwhelmingly supports human rights protection in law, and a human rights approach helps public service providers contribute to a better quality of life for many people. The examples which we’ve seen prove that this approach needn’t involve more bureaucracy or cost. Often it’s just a willingness to challenge the status quo, try something new and take a common sense approach to something as simple as checking that an elderly patient has eaten her lunch every day, protecting her right to life, or that pupils understand that bullying is wrong, thereby ensuring all pupils’ right to education.”
“However, our Inquiry also reveals that while some people have benefitted, we need a lot more leadership from those in senior positions to ensure a human rights approach is used across all our public services. We have made a number of recommendations to the Government, public sector authorities and the Commission itself will provide guidance and support to help."