Your human rights

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Be aware of your human rights, so that you can recognise when they are being abused and challenge bad treatment. Human rights belong to everyone and mean that authorities are obliged to treat you with fairness, equality, dignity and respect.

The European Convention on Human Rights was drawn up and passed after the Second World War, by the Council of Europe which includes the countries in wider Europe as well as the European Union. The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force in the UK in 2000, placing a duty on all public authorities (such as the Government, local council social services departments and public sector employers) in the UK to ensure they respect the rights in the European Convention.

Human rights are often talked about in relation to older people’s treatment in care homes and hospitals, but they can also be applied to employment and other aspects of day-to-day life. The Human Rights Act only covers employees in the public sector. However, the Equality Act draws on human rights laws to ensure everyone has rights in the workplace.

For more information on human rights and how they relate to older people, see the British Institute for Human Rights (BIHR) guide opens link in new window Your Human Rights - A guide for older people and the BIHR and Age UK report for professionals opens link in new window Older People and Human Rights.

For more information on your rights, in the workplace, in social care and healthcare, download the guides and factsheets below.

opens link in new window Download the guide Going into hospital (PDF 567KB)

opens link in new window Download the guide Care home(PDF 654KB)

We are grateful for the generous support of Dr Naim Dangoor CBE
and The Exilarch's Foundation

Your Age UK

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Age UK Advice:
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