Monday, July 23, 2007

Human Rights Inquiry: BHA Submits Evidence

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ (JCHR) on the human rights of adults with learning disabilities.

The Inquiry comes at a time when more and more statutory public services are being contracted out to private and third sector providers, including religious organisations, meaning that increasing numbers of individuals are not receiving services directly from the state, leaving them at risk of having no legal recourse to the Human Rights Act.

Naomi Phillips , BHA Public Affairs Officer, said, ‘We were pleased to respond to the JCHR’s call for evidence, not least because we have had contact with a number of people who are very worried about their relatives’ rights both to freedom of belief and to a private life being infringed, particularly in residential care settings run by religious organisations.

‘Adults with learning disabilities are some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society and as such, we believe that it is the duty of the state to ensure that their rights are protected, whether that is in the context of receiving public services, or to have personal, including sexual, relationships with others, without interference by others on the basis of their religious convictions.’

The JCHR’s call for evidence closes on 20 th July 2007.


Read the BHA’s submission to the JCHR here .

For further comment or information, please contact Naomi Phillips by email , or on 020 7079 3585.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) represents and supports the non-religious and campaigns for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief. It is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular society.

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