A new Prime Minister. A fresh start for human rights?
What a time to take over the reins of a country. Brexit fall out. A reported spike in hate crime, racism and xenophobia and a global refugee crisis in urgent need of political will and prioritisation… Welcome Theresa May. Welcome to your new job as our Prime Minister.
We face a time with so much uncertainty. Politics in the UK is not changing by the day but by the minute. One thing the new Prime Minister can be sure of is we will all be watching to see how she steers this unsteady ship.
As our longest serving Home Secretary, she arguably comes well prepared for taking the tough decisions in government. We want to make sure that human rights are at the heart of all of those decisions. As our new Prime Minister sets about choosing her new Cabinet (one full of women apparently!) we will be making it clear that the UK needs to turn a corner on human rights.
So what is top of our list for the next Prime Minister when it comes to human rights?
1. Making refugees welcome
Our government needs to step up and play a leading role in finding global solutions that ensure the safety and protection for the world’s refugees; from bringing refugee families together, to building on the UK’s huge commitments on humanitarian effort to support refugees.
2. Conducting foreign policy with a conscience
Human rights must be put back at the centre of British foreign policy. From standing up for individuals persecuted by their own governments, to respecting the Arms Trade Treaty that the UK so vehemently championed – it’s vital that our new Prime Minister leads the way in making the world safer for all.
3. Making a stand on hate crimes, racism and xenophobia
The Prime Minster needs to immediately and unequivocally condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crimes. As well as guaranteeing local authorities and organisations with the resources they need to tackle it.
4. Keeping the Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act protects the rights of all of us in the UK, all of the time. We want to see this government commit to keeping the Act and protecting the fundamental values of equality and justice that it helps us access when we most need help.
5. Committing to a rights-first Brexit
The protection and promotion of human rights must be central to UK exit negotiations from the European Union, including making it expressly clear that all EU migrants in the UK will be able to remain.
6. Standing up for women’s rights
Theresa May has a real chance to build on her own positive legacy of putting ending violence against women and girls at the heart of government policy.
And that is just the top of our list. We will need your help to show just how many of us across the UK want a fresh start on human rights -- one that puts it front and centre of Theresa May’s new government.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.