Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Social Sciences - Hot Topics - Human Rights


On 10 December 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations announced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was an historic act in which all member countries were to adopt to improve basic awareness of our liberties.

Through teaching and education all member countries ensured that the respect of these were promoted and maintained for all people, every individual and the nations it represents.

The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) is one of the earliest treaties passed by the Council of Europe. The council was formed by Sir Winston Churchill after the Second World War. The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) is separate from the European Union (EU) and has its own Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 came into full force in the UK on 2 October 2000. The act is a means to safeguard our rights in the United Kingdom.

All UK legislation must be given a meaning that fits in with the Convention's Rights so that cases can be dealt with in a UK court or tribunal.

There are sixteen basic rights in the Human Rights Act, all taken from the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • Right to life
  • Prohibition of torture
  • Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
  • Right to liberty and security
  • Right to a fair trail
  • No punishment without law
  • Right to respect for private and family life
  • Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of assembly and association
  • Right to marry
  • Prohibition of discrimination
  • Protection of property
  • Right to education
  • Right to free elections
  • Abolition of the death penalty

Resources in Social Sciences

Social Sciences has a varied selection of stock and information about Human Rights that is very easy to access.

There are books that provide general information on Human Rights and the Act but there are also:

  • Government Legislation

  • Journals

  • Legal Information about the law relating to Human Rights

  • Support and information for Asylum Seekers

  • Women's rights

  • Your rights as a citizen

  • Your rights at work

  • Your rights at home

There is a Human Rights Resource Box that is kept at the Enquiry Desk in Social Sciences.
This contains copies of The Human Rights Act 1998 and other information that answers frequently asked questions about this subject.

Amnesty International


British Institute of Human Rights


Council Of Europe -Human Rights


European Court of Human Rights


Human Rights Internet


Human Rights Watch




Books and other materials

You may also want to try looking for books and Journals on this subject on the Library Catalogue

Social Sciences - Hot Topics!