New ad campaign challenges politicians over Human Rights Act. Peter Robinson among leaders featured ahead of latest TV election debates.

Amnesty International today launched a new campaign calling on the leaders of all political parties to “do the human right thing” and protect the Human Rights Act.

The campaign features full-page adverts in national newspapers with the message “Do the human right thing: Keep The Human Rights Act” slogan as well as the faces of party leaders, including Peter Robinson of Northern Ireland’s DUP. 

There is also a dedicated website (www.keeptheact.uk) with stories of ordinary people who were able to use the Human Rights Act to claim their rights.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, said:

“Human rights protect everyone and should be above party politics. 

“Loss of the Human Rights Act would be a real backward step, particularly in Northern Ireland where it has underpinned public confidence in new political and policing institutions since the Good Friday Agreement.

“We want to see MPs of all parties, including those from Northern Ireland, defend the rights which were hard-won by ordinary people over many years.”

Cases highlighted by Amnesty’s campaign include

A woman with Multiple Sclerosis who was forced to spend all day, every day in bed was able to use the Human Rights Act to get her local council to increase the amount of care she received to a sensible level, and so was able to live a normal independent life again.

An elderly couple who were placed in separate care homes after 65 years of marriage. They were able to use the Human Rights Act to successfully persuade their local authority to allow the wife to move into her husband’s care home so that they could be together. 

A young boy with a severe learning disability who required substantial care from his father was placed in temporary care when his father fell ill, but when the father recovered, the council refused to reunite the pair. They were finally reunited after a court concluded that the council had breached their human rights.

More than 18,000 people have already signed up to a call on the next government to protect the Human Rights Act. The website can be found at: www.keeptheact.uk

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