Liam and Cian have already summarised the election manifestos of the main(land) political parties (Lab., Lib. and Tory) in the forthcoming UK General Election. A number of NGOs and civil society organisations have already published their own manifestos as well as instructive responses to the party pledges. Here are some of the most interesting from a human rights perspective:
- Amnesty International (UK) has produced a series of election briefings on Women’s Rights, Security and Human Rights, the Human Rights Framework, Poverty and Human Rights and the Asylum System. All are available here.
- The Law Society’s Manifesto is here.
- The Manifesto for Justice (AdviceUK, the Bar Council, the Institute of Legal Executives, JUSTICE, the Law Centres Federation, the Legal Action Group, the Legal Aid Practitioners’ Group and Liberty) is here
The Liberal Democrats have published their General Election Manifesto 2010. Cian has noted the main human rights commitments in the Conservative Party’s Manifesto here, and I have previously highlighted the main human rights commitments given in the Labour Party’s 2010 Manifesto. This is a brief overview of the main human rights commitments given in this Manifesto, however is important since it may be that the Lib Dems may be the King-makers in the new British Parliament (see here, here and here).
The Liberal Democrats have made the following commitments: Read more…
Yesterday Liam highlighted the key human rights issues raised by the Labour Party Manifesto. Today we take a quick look at that offered by the Conservative Party. First, at a superficial level, it is worth noting that the phrase “human rights” appears in two sections of the manifesto. It appears once in a section on domestic political reform, under the title ‘Change Politics | Restore Our Civil Liberties’, but only as part of the title of the Human Rights Act (which the Conservative Party pledge to replace with a British Bill of Rights – more on that in a moment). It appears four times in the foreign policy section, titled ‘Promote Our National Interest | A Liberal Conservative Foreign Policy’. So does this mean four times as much human rights in foreign than in domestic policy? Not quite. Read more…
The British Labour Party yesterday published its manifesto for Election 2010. There are a number of key commitments in relation to human rights which should be highlighted (and may put them at odds with the Conservative Party).
- Demanding rights and responsibilities for all. While the Manifesto does not outline in any detail key human rights, responsibilities of all are outlined as: the obligation to work when you can; not to abuse your neighbour or neighbourhood; for newcomers to show respect for Britain and to pay a fair share of taxes;
- Committment to maintaining the new Equality Act 2010;
- Continue to support the Human Rights Act 1998, as a means of “bringing rights home“;
- Human rights as a key component to foreign policy;
- Reorientating of foreign aid issues, as key human rights issues. The Manifesto states: ” Access to health, education, food, water and sanitation are basic human rights”;
- Building a modern welfare state, where there is an obligation to work where people are in position to do so, and assisting those out of employment into employment. The Labour Pary also committs to seeking to end child poverty by 2020 (see also Child Poverty Act 2010), through increasing opportunities for parents to work.
- Commitments to older people, through improving quality of life, allowing older people who want to, to work, ensuring adequate pension provision.
- Providing greater level of choice to individuals health rights, while also expecting greater responsibilities of those using the National Health Service.
- Strengthening the immigration system so that it is firm, but fair;
- Committed to a free vote in Parliament on whether the franchise should be extended to those 16 years and older;
- Introduce an Alternative Vote system (to replace the current first past the post); Read more…
We are expecting the launch of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats’ manifestos for the General Election on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week respectively. Human Rights in Ireland will offer some early analysis of each one on the days of their launch to assess just what this election may mean for human rights in Britain and in Ireland.
UPDATE (08.49am): Adam Wagner over at the recently launched UK Human Rights Blog has written this morning that this bill of rights (for the UK, not Northern Ireland) is to be a key election issue. He also draws attention to a piece in the Guardian today critiquing the Conservative Party’s plans for human rights. Unless there’s a major policy announcement between now and then, I will hold my tongue on this until the manifesto announcement at the start of next week.