The Human Rights Act is under attack. There is a popular perception that its impact has been restricted to the courtroom and that human rights are not relevant to wider society, or are applied to unworthy causes. Some people even want the act repealed.
Yet the act has the capacity to bring about a cultural change that would improve public services and the treatment of, and respect for, socially-excluded and deprived people. The voluntary and community sector, which exists to help these people, should learn to use the act to help them access their human rights.
Human Rights: Who Needs Them? sets out a practical vision for how voluntary organisations can use the act to further the rights of people they represent. Frances Butler uses real-life examples to create a toolbox of methods for holding government and public bodies accountable for their obligations and re-emphasises the continuing relevance of human rights in everyday public life. "This book is important because it explains the contribution that the Human Rights Act can make to protecting vulnerable and socially excluded people and makes useful suggestions about ways in which voluntary organisations can use human rights principles in their work. The Government will carefully consider how best to implement its practical recommendations." Lord Falconer, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs
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