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. 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. Ensuring our Human Rights Act, which protects all of us, all of the time, is safeguarded here at home. We want to see a strong commitment to keep the Act – now more than ever we must protect the values it enshrines.
5. 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. 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.