Defending Our Human Rights

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2011 National LGBT Conference
8 August 2011

Conference notes that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) self organised group has long been a defender of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), recognising its importance in making LGBT human rights real. This is particularly with regard to our rights to family life, freedom of association, freedom of expression and protection from discrimination.

Conference believes that human rights based approaches to the delivery of public services are fundamental to ensuring that LGBT people receive services that are free from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a tool that can assist in the eradication of institutionalised homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. The adoption of human rights based approaches to the delivery of public services can also improve the working conditions of LGBT workers.

Conference is therefore concerned over the attacks on the Human Rights Act by politicians and the media, which have included misrepresentation and scaremongering.

Conference is further concerned that the Government has set up a Commission to investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights. The terms of reference of the Commission are to build on the obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and provide advice to reform the European Court of Human Rights. It is due to report back to the Government by the end of 2012.

Conference believes that the HRA and the recognition and enforcement of human rights should not be weakened in any way, shape or form.

Conference further believes that it is essential that the importance of human rights based approaches to everyday life need to be publicised and the myths dispelled.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee to:

1.Campaign to defend the HRA;

2.Publicise information on defending the HRA and human rights based approaches to delivering public services

3.Work with other organisations campaigning to defend the HRA including Liberty, British Institute of Human Rights, Equality and Diversity Forum and others as appropriate;

4. Work with the National Executive Council, Labour Link, service groups and other self organised groups to carry out joint actions where appropriate.