The right to freedom from torture explained in 2 minutes!

[Text on screen]: Freedom From Torture: Article 3 of the Human Rights Act.

Governments must ensure torture and ill-treatment never take place, and carry out effective investigations if they do.

What does the Human Rights Act officially say?

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

But what exactly does it mean?

Basically, we can’t be treated in ways that violate our dignity, and cause severe physical or mental suffering. It also protects you from being deported or extradited if you face torture in another country.

Article 3 is absolute. This means it must never be limited or restricted, and credible claims of torture must be investigated.

But where does it come from?

All legal systems permitted torture for centuries. The 1689 British Bill of Rights banned “cruel and unusual punishment.”

After World War II, the ban on torture was recognised as a fundamental international value. The 1944 Geneva Convention and 1948 Universal Declaration banned torture altogether.

Here are three key examples of what it does for us:

1. States must make physical abuse towards children illegal. ( A v UK, 1998)
2. Disabled people must be protected from ill-treatment. (Price case, 2001)
3. Rape allegations must be taken seriously. (Police v DSD, 2015)

Freedom From Torture protects us from inhumane or degrading treatment.

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The right to freedom from torture explained in 2 minutes!

Published on 22 Feb 2022

This video is about Article 3 of the HRA which is freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. The right to freedom from torture means we cannot have someone inflict serious harm on us, including physical and mental suffering.

This video is part of a wider series showcasing the protections the HRA provides us and why they are so important in our daily lives. We’ve also curated a week of written content surrounding the proposed reform of the HRA so that you can stay informed and up to date on the latest developments.

The Human Rights Act is central to ensuring we can all live a safe and secure life. It sets out a range of principles that the government, and public bodies, must follow and uphold for all of us. If they fail to follow them, we have the ability to take our case to a UK court and, if our rights have been violated, we may be fairly compensated. The Human Rights Act has given us the ability to stand up to those in power.

But the Human Rights Act is under threat.

The government has announced plans to reform the HRA into a new British Bill of Rights, which lawyers and campaigners are concerned will shift more power in favour of the government, and weaken the protections we have available to us. We need to ensure that human rights are accessible and available for everyone, but we may risk losing those protections if the government’s reform comes into effect.

Want to learn more? Head on over to our spotlight page to read more about the proposals to the HRA.You can find more videos in this HRA series on our Youtube playlist.

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