19 December 2013
The British Institution of Human Rights (BIHR) works to raise awareness of human rights in the UK. The focus is on mainstreaming human rights principles in society based on education and research. Human rights can support people in the voluntary and public sectors to do things better. There's currently much negative talk in the media, and amongst some politicians, of human rights including getting rid of our human rights law.
The Tour events are about raising awareness and learning more about applying human rights in everyday life.
Local Green Party member Mike Hodges was invited to attend the BIHR's Charter Launch for Human Rights Day at the House of Lords on Tuesday 10th December and to contribute a few words as a local community Human Rights Champion. He was pleasantly surprised once he got there to find himself speaking on a panel in a grand committee room with Sadiq Khan. Simon Hughes, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicholas Bratza, various peers and human rights campaigners including the Directors of Amnesty, BIHR and UNA-UK.
He mentioned his social activism with his local Green Party, as well as other community involvement with various Boscombe groups and forums, volunteering with the NHS on the 'Time to Change' mental health awareness-raising programme, and his charity work in Reading and Slough.
Afterwards he went to a very impressive evening conference and heard speeches from Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Labour member of the House of Lords, lawyer Imran Khan, who represented the Lawrence family in court, and Professor Francesca Klug OBE, Director of the Human Rights Futures Project, amongst others.