It may feel like campaigning has only just begun, but the General Election is almost upon us. Next Thursday we’ll be casting our ballots. As ever, we’ve distilled everything down to what you really need to know in our human rights round-up.
It’s been the fortnight of manifestos and TV debates, with party leaders setting out their visions for the country – including what they think of several human rights. Here’s just a couple of updates from the week:
- SNP, The Green Party, UKIP, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru in leaders debate [ITV News]
- The party leaders are quizzed separately by Andrew Neil [BBC News]
- All main parties launch their manifestos [RightsInfo]
- Get out and vote – it’s your privilege [RightsInfo]
The 2017 manifestos are officially released
Our human rights come into play in almost all aspect of civic life, from education to voting itself, so unsurprisingly there are a lot of human rights nods in the manifestos. Big themes during this election have included increased funding for the NHS and mental health services – both of which which touch on our right to health.
We’ve also seen a big focus on workers’ rights, with parties discussing how best to tackle zero hour contracts and the gig economy, as well as addressing how workers’ rights could change when we leave the European Union.
There are also discussions about what should happen to the Human Rights Act when we leave the EU. Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and the Greens have all promised to “defend” the Act, while Plaid Cymru have pledged to protect the Act plus publish a human rights charter for Wales.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives have put their proposal to scrap the Act and replace it with a ‘British Bill of Rights’ on hold whilst Brexit is underway, but do say they will look at the UK’s human rights framework once we’ve left the EU in 2019. This leaves UKIP as the only party pledging to abolish the Human Rights Act. Despite rumours that the Tory manifesto would propose leaving the Human Rights Convention, the Conservatives have also committed to staying signatories “for the duration of the next Parliament”.
It’s a lot to take in, so we’ve broken it all down in more detail in our special Election and Human Rights web feature – with the added bonus of some whizzy graphics to make everything a bit easier to digest.
— Jem Collins (@Jem_Collins) May 19, 2017
You can check out the full details of all things human rights in our individual manifesto guides here:
- The Conservative Party
- The Green Party
- The Labour Party
- The Liberal Democrats
- Plaid Cymru
- The Scottish National Party
Party leaders hit the TV screens
If you’d rather see the party leaders debating with each other IRL (or well, through your computer screen), then once again you’re in luck. The last fortnight has seen party leaders and their representatives take to the stage across all of the broadcasters.
As well as cross party debates on both ITV and the BBC, we also saw the main party leaders being quizzed by Andrew Neil on the BBC, and Jeremy Paxman on Sky News. If you’re looking for a slightly less heavy-going number you can see Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May on The One Show.
Get out and vote – it’s your privilege
If there’s one thing to take from all of this though: this is your big chance to go and have a say on who should lead our country for the next five years.
Voting is a privilege as well as a right – so make sure you use it. We’ll leave our wonderful volunteer Anirudh to explain why.
Want to know more about human rights and the General Election?
- Check out our earlier round-ups one month, and two weeks into the campaign
- Read our piece on what a General Election could mean for Human Rights
- Catch up on the history of voting and human rights in our explainer