The Women’s Equality Party’s first Party Conference notes the Westminster Government's declared intention to repeal the Human Rights Act (1998) and introduce a new ‘Bill of Rights’ in its place.
The Human Rights Act is derived from the European Convention on Human Rights which is the cornerstone of human rights protection in Europe.
The Convention was partly a response to the appalling human rights violations that took place in Europe during the Second World War and ever since has provided protection of fundamental rights, such as the right to life, the right to a fair trial, the right to privacy, the right to liberty and security, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right not to be tortured.
The collaboration within the Council of Europe has also been a leading platform for the protection and promotion of human rights, including women’s rights, notably through the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). The UK should take pride in its leading role in forming the Council of Europe, rather than retreating from its principles.
The Women’s Equality Party calls upon the Westminster Government to:
1. Retain all the protections currently provided by the Human Rights Act (1998).
2. Ensure that access to and enforcement of those protections is strengthened or maintained in any subsequent legislation.
3. Ensure that the said protections, access, and enforcement remain fully applicable to, and available to, all human beings within the UK.
Furthermore, WE call upon the Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention and take on a leading role within the Council of Europe to promote the protective frameworks applied through the Convention.