Today’s article marks the start of my Travelling series on THWBlog – discussing law and human rights in numerous countries and states that I visit over the next four months approximately. My travels begin with a short trip to Iceland before visiting numerous parts of North and South America. Although articles will be less regular than usual, I hope it provides an insight for all of my readers into the practices of nations other than the UK. I hope you enjoy the series!
The prohibition of torture is set out in one sentence in the Human Rights Act 1998:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
What does this mean?
Torture can be defined as an act where severe physical or mental pain is intentionally inflicted on a person, for one of a number of potential reasons – such as obtaining information or for punishment.
Due to the nature of human rights and the connections between them, it is impossible for every one of our freedoms to exist without interfering with another’s application. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we ensure a balance is achieved between certain rights, which allows us to enjoy them in a satisfactory manner. For example, debates continuously take place regarding where the appropriate balance between security and privacy lies. The proportionality of this balance is dynamic, changing due to environmental circumstances within our societies and therefore no enforced balance can ever be said to be wrong. However, the current balance between our freedom of expression or speech (found in Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998), with rights such as our freedom of religion (Part of Article 9) and the anti-discrimination principle (Article 14), specifically in relation to Muslims at the moment is extremely troubling due to the rise in something we’ve come to call ‘Islamophobia’.
This week will be the first post on THWBlog from a guest writer. I am currently organising a number of posts in the near future from people who will offer perhaps slightly different perspectives and concentrate on a wider scope of areas, so hopefully you have a greater choice of articles to read! This is an exciting addition to the blog for me and I hope you enjoy it too. The first guest post will be posted on Friday, but in the meantime, here is a small introduction to the first of the writers in this series; a very good friend of mine called Fionn:
A number of articles have been written in the past week or so regarding the falseness in calling the current influx of people into Europe, the “Migrant Crisis”. #MigrantCrisis has been an almost constant trend on Twitter for months now, until it was correctly pointed out that these people are not migrants, they are refugees. Simply, a migrant is “a person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions”. A refugee, on the other hand, is a person who has “been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster”. This has prompted a change for some, to instead identify this as the #RefugeeCrisis (although it should be noted some are still calling these people migrants).