Most readers of this blog are hopefully keen on promoting human rights. For the many based in London, join the discussions at the event organised by CAMPACC, the London Guantánamo Campaign, London Against Injustice and others on December 10th, the International Human Rights Day.
Why Human Rights? ...And Where Now?
On the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) creating a global framework for the protection of the rights of everyone, and in this climate of multiple crises, we invite you to consider: do we really have human rights? What's right and wrong with them? Can 'rights' help us respond to the challenge of reconstructing society; so that justice, mutual respect and equality prevail? And if so, what concrete actions must we now take?
The 10th December free event at the LSE looks to mark the 60th anniversary by finding ways to make human rights relevant to all, and not just activists, lawyers and academics. Asking the question: how can a broad civil rights platform encompass the full range of relevant social movements in Britain today? We will explore beyond civil liberties and individual rights to consider: what are humanity's essential, and collective economic, social, political and environmental rights, for which we must fight?
15:00-17:00 Pre-conference seminar: Prison and Society (LSE, Room H102, Connaught House Building, on Aldwych)
- Politics of Detention - Aisha Maniar, Hicham Yezza, Massah Barnett and others
- Land, Housing and Lebfevre's Right to the City - Professor Michael Edwards, Teresa Hoskyns, Dave Wetzel [tbc] and others
- Action proposals, discussion and preparing questions for the evening conference
18:00-19:00 Building a movement - Panel (LSE, New Theatre, Building E, Houghton St)
- Head of State Immunity - Peter Tatchell
- Academic Freedom - Hicham Yezza
- Public Services - Anne Gray
- Lebfevre's Right to the City - Teresa Hoskyns
- Housing - Michael Edwards
- with guest appearance from Vivienne Westwood
19:00-20:00 Keynotes (LSE, New Theatre, Building E, Houghton St)
- Civil Liberties - Professor AC Grayling
- War on Terror - Andy Worthington
- The Environment - Asad Rehman
20:00-21:30 Audience Q&A, discussion and action proposals (LSE, New Theatre, Building E, Houghton St)
Speakers, panellists and questioners may wish to consider the history of the UDHR - successes, failures, shortcomings, opportunities - under six broad themes: Culture, Development, Dignity and Justice, Environment, Gender and Participation. They may also wish to refer to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act (HRA) aswell as the EU Charter of Fundamental Freedoms (Charter) and recent UK Cabinet proposal for a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (announcement & JCRH report on the proposal). And in respect of any or all of these, and the various crises we find ourselves in: what concrete actions must we now take?
We want to come out of the day with concrete, shared ideas about how to move forward the human rights movement after our 60-year experience with the UDHR, and more recently the ECHR and HRA. We have chosen the topics, speakers and panellists to provide the potential foundation for a movement based on liberty, dignity and justice for all in the UK and beyond. Furthermore, both the timetable and Q&A format are designed to leave sufficient space to discuss and plan future actions together. We would therefore ask speakers to plan their presentations accordingly: what collective actions we must now undertake? And we would ask participants to do the same in relation to any questions, comments or concrete proposals they put forward.