Women’s Aid Federation NI is signatory to a letter published in the Daily Telegraph, 3rd September 2013, celebrating 60 years of the ECHR

Six decades of human rights support – The 60th anniversary European Convention on Human Rights is something to be celebrated

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights coming into force.

As leaders of civil society organisations, we think six decades of ensuring human rights for 800 million people across 47 countries in Europe is something to be celebrated. For our organisations, and the people we work with across the United Kingdom, the rights and freedoms set out in the convention are fundamental in ensuring all of us can live with dignity, respect and equality, safe in the knowledge that there are checks on government power.

This “other jubilee” is also a time to celebrate 60 years of Britain’s commitment to respecting, protecting and fulfilling the rights in the convention. Britain played a pivotal role in setting down our hard-won human rights in the convention in the aftermath of the Second World War. As Winston Churchill said, when calling for a human rights charter, there is a need for a set of rights “guarded by freedom and sustained by law”. We call on our political leaders to secure our human rights heritage and stand firm on Britain’s commitment to the convention, and its expression in the Human Rights Act.

Stephen Bowen
Director, British Institute of Human Rights

Rob Taylor
Chief Executive, Age Cymru

Nuala Mole
Founder & Senior Lawyer, Aire Centre

Mike Henshaw
Head of Legal Services, Alternative Futures Group

Kate Allen
Director, Amnesty International UK

Andrew Sperling
Chairman, Association of Prison Lawyers

Ewan Roberts
Centre Manager, Asylum Link Merseyside

Dan Kenningham
National Coordination Team, ATD Fourth World

Davina James-Hanman
Director, AVA (Against Violence & Abuse)

Abdul Khan
Chief Executive Officer, BECON

Nik Barstow
Director of Engagement & Involvement, BHA for equality

Elizabeth Prochaska
Founder, Birthrights

Ann Chivers
Chief Executive, British Institute of Learning Disabilities

Lara Oyedele
Chair, BMENational

Joy Warmington

Andrew Copson
Chief Executive, British Humanist Association

Emily Holzhausen
Director of Policy, Carers UK

Paola Uccellari
Director, Children’s Rights Alliance for England

Karen Chouhan
Chair, CORE

Dr Michele Lamb
Director, Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research, University of Roehampton

Liz Sayce OBE
Chief Executive Officer, Disability Rights UK

Barbara Cohen
Chair, Discrimination Law Association

Beryl Randall
Director, Employability Forum

Dr Dimitrina Petrova
Executive Director, Equal Rights Trust

Amanda Aris
Chief Executive, Equality and Diversity Forum

Katie Pratt
CEO, Equality South West

Ceri Goddard
CEO, Fawcett

Keith Best
CEO, Freedom from Torture

Chris Whitwell
Director, Friends, Families and Travellers

Terry Reed
Trustee, Gender Identity Research and Education Society

Sam Smethers
Chief Executive, Grandparents Plus

Frances Crook
Chief Executive, Howard League for Penal Reform

Carole Ewart
Chair, Human Rights Consortium Scotland

Dr Damien Short
Director, Human Rights Consortium, University of London

David Mepham
UK Director, Human Rights Watch

Henrietta Doyle
Policy Officer, Inclusion London

Deborah Coles and Helen Shaw
Co-Directors, INQUEST

Shauneen Lambe
Director, Just for Kids Law

Ratna Lachman
Director, Just West Yorkshire

Andrea Coomber
Director, JUSTICE

Julie Bishop
Director, Law Centres Network

Alan Hunter
Chief Executive, Law Society of Northern Ireland

Paul Roberts
Chief Executive Officer, LGBT Consortium

Shami Chakrabarti
Director, Liberty

Eithne Rynne
CEO, London Voluntary Service Council

Eleanor Tomlinson
Health Advocacy Project, Manor Gardens Centre

Emma Mlotshwa
Coordinator, Medical Justice

Revd Ruth Gee
President of the Conference of the Methodist Church, Methodist Church in Britain

Zrinka Bralo
Executive Director, Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum – The Forum

Don Flynn
Director, Migrants’ Rights Network

Pat Elsmie
Director, Migrants Rights’ Scotland

Paul Farmer

Sarah Danily
Director, Mind in Brighton and Hove

Caroline Sagar
Chief Executive, n-compass North West

Deborah Jack
Chief Executive, NAT (National AIDS Trust)

Des Kelly OBE
Executive Director, National Care Forum

Faiza Khan
Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Communications, National Council for Voluntary Youth Services

Rob Greig
Chief Executive, National Development Team for Inclusion

Kath Parson
Chief Executive, Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (UK)

Karen Chandler
Projects Worker, Pembrokeshire People First

Vaughan Jones
Chief Executive, Praxis Community Projects

Ratna Dutt OBE
Chief Executive, Race Equality Foundation

Deborah Harris
Chief Operating Officer, Refugee Council

Shauna Leven
Director, René Cassin

Emma Scott
Director, Rights of Women

Susan Bryant
Director, Rights Watch (UK)

Dr Peter Carter
Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing

Dr Rob Berkeley
Director, Runnymede Trust

Ruth Marvel
Director of Policy and Campaigns, Scope

Tom Baillie
Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People

Rachel Stewart
Policy and Campaigns Manager, Scottish Association for Mental Health

Robert Sutherland
Convenor, Scottish Legal Action Group

Durrah Mahmood
Trustee, Songololo Feet

Joe Korner
Director of External Affairs, Stroke Association

Professor Katja Ziegler
Director, Centre of European Law and Internationalisation, University of Leicester

Yvonne MacNamara
CEO, the Traveller Movement

Alexandra Runswick
Director, Unlock Democracy

Penelobe Gibbs
Director, Transform Justice

Martin Coyle
Director, True Voice

Revd Roberta Rominger
General Secretary, United Reformed Church

Kunle Olulode
Director, Voice4Change England

Mohammed Razaq
Executive Director, West of Scotland Regional Equality Council Ltd

Joyce Kallevik
Director, Wish

Polly Neate
Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Aid

Annie Campbell
Director, Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland

Vivienne Hayes
Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Resource Centre

Katie Smith
Chair, York Carers Forum

Tom Doyle
Chief Executive, Yorkshire MESMAC Group of Services

Sarah Yiannoullou
Managing Director, NSUN network for mental health

Lul Seyoum
Director, International Centre for Eritrean Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Richard Hawkes
Chief Executive, Scope

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