Hope for Justice has published a briefing strongly opposing the UK government’s Bill of Rights, its proposed replacement to the Human Rights Act (HRA).
The briefing was penned jointly with dozens of civil society organisations working within the field of human trafficking and child exploitation.
The briefing outlines our shared fear that in scrapping the existing bill, the rights which it safeguards and protects will also be scrapped. Where the HRA gives universal rights to all UK residents – rights that are based on the European Convention of Human Rights – the Bill of Rights will only confer rights decided by the government. Ditching the HRA will also remove an important source of legal responsibility for the government to uphold our rights. Dismantling our existing preventative frameworks and diminishing access to justice will affect us all. However, it will affect vulnerable and marginalised groups the most, including survivors of slavery and human trafficking.
The Bill of Rights has had its first reading in the House of Commons and will move to its second reading in the near future. These readings are part of the early stages in the bill’s “passage” through to legislation. Our briefing therefore serves as an early call to government action. The HRA has served as a reassurance of rights to a range of people; it has been key to the development of the UK’s anti-trafficking and modern slavery framework. In uniting with our peers within the field of human trafficking and modern slavery prevention, we urge the government to support our existing human rights protections and reject the bill.
The briefing can be read in full via the following link: Bill of Rights Briefing