Human rights

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on human rights. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
02.06.2016Investigatory Powers Bill: Committee Stage Report
The Investigatory Powers Bill was introduced on 1 March 2016 and received its second reading on 15 March.There were sixteen sittings of the Public Bill Committee, including two evidence sessions. The Bill is due to have its report stage on 6 June 2016.
19.05.2016Counter-extremism policy: an overview
Counter-extremism policy has evolved over the past few years with an increasing focus on addressing non-violent extremism. Recent policy announcements and a forthcoming Bill indicate that the Government remains determined to confront both violent and non-violent forms of extremism in its fight against terrorism.
18.05.2016A British Bill of Rights?
The Conservative Party went into the 2015 General Election with a manifesto commitment to 'scrap the Human Rights Act and curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights.' This note provides a brief introduction to the Human Rights Act 1998; the European Convention on Human Rights and the work of the European Court of Human Rights.
12.05.2016UK cases at the European Court of Human Rights since 1975
This note lists brief details of UK cases at the European Court of Human Rights [ECHR] since 1975.
28.04.2016Burundi crisis one year on: April 2016 update
Over the last year Burundi has been convulsed by a political and human rights crisis whose origins lie in the decision by President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek and then win a third term in office.
06.04.2016Bangladesh: April 2016 update
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper which looks at political and security developments in Bangladesh since the beginning of 2015. The ruling Awami League (AL) seems to be in the ascendancy, while its bitter rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is in apparent retreat.
14.03.2016War and peace in South Sudan: March 2016 update
South Sudan has been embroiled in a brutal civil war involving immense human suffering since December 2013. After numerous false starts, a peace deal was agreed in August 2015, but important elements are yet to be implemented.
24.02.2016Political reforms and human rights in Bahrain
Repression continues in Bahrain in an increasingly tense regional environment
22.02.2016Women around the world: International Women's Day 2016
This briefing gives an introduction to International Women's Day, celebrated on the 8th of March. It examines a variety of indicators for women's equality both in the UK and internationally.
15.02.2016Prisoners' voting rights: developments since May 2015
This House of Commons Briefing Paper analyses the debate over the voting rights of prisoners since May 2015, it also includes a concise summary of the main developments before May 2015.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
15.02.2016International Women's Day 2016
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information relating to International Women's Day, due to be marked on 8 March 2016, and the theme this year of gender parity.
23.11.2015Freedom of Speech in Higher Education Institutions
This Library Note has been prepared to support the debate in the House of Lords on the protection of freedom of speech in universities on 26 November 2015.
10.09.2015Treatment of LGBTI Citizens Worldwide
This Library Note has been written to support the House of Lords debate on the global treatment of LGBTI citizens.
10.07.2015The 'Responsibility to Protect' and the Application of this International Norm by the UK and the UN
This Library Note provides background information on the 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P) concept; surveys instances in which the concept has been either invoked or considered by the UN Security Council; and summarises challenges to the concept and the position of the UK Government on the doctrine. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 16 July 2015.
03.07.2015Reports into Investigatory Powers
This Note provides a summary of the recommendations of recent reports, including the report of David Anderson QC, and supporting material on the use of investigatory powers.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
22.10.2015Automation in Military Operations
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains - air, land and sea - make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.
22.07.2014Big Data and Public Health
This POSTnote examines the sources of data, their current and potential uses for health improvement, and the legal and practical issues raised by data use for public health or research purposes.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
01.10.2011Legislative scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill - government response to the...
Government response. Home Office report [Commons]
14.09.2011FCO's human rights work 2010-11.
Government response. Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]
06.09.2011Terrorism Act 2000 (Remedial) Order 2011: stop and search without reasonable suspicion (second report)....
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
11.06.2011Legislative scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill; Armed Forces Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
07.06.2011Legislative scrutiny: Education Bill and other bills.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
08.02.2012DETERIORATING HUMAN RIGHTS IN TIBET
That this House strongly condemns the Chinese security forces' unwarranted use of force including opening fire on unarmed demonstrators to quash peaceful protests in Tibet; is greatly ...
25.01.2012INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
That this House supports International Women's Day on 8 March 2012; celebrates the political, social and economic advancement of women while recognising the urgent need for further ...
11.01.2012HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN (No. 2)
That this House is concerned by the practice of execution by stoning in Iran; notes that stoning is a particularly repugnant and cruel form of execution; is concerned that stoning is ...
20.12.2011HUMAN RIGHTS IN KAZAKHSTAN
That this House is deeply concerned at reports of the killing of oil workers in Kazakhstan who have been protesting about their living conditions and the poverty of their region; condemns ...
20.12.2011GUANTÁNAMO BAY
That this House notes that on 11 January 2012 it will be a decade since the first detainees were incarcerated at Guantnamo Bay naval base; believes that Guantnamo detainees should either ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses