'I hope my husband and I will never be separated, but I'm glad to know that the Human Rights Act is on our side if the worst happens.'

Viv Smith-Franks, Amnesty supporter

Older people face struggles every day.

Imagine spending your whole life with the person you love: you’ve owned a home, raised a family and grown older together.

But when your partner of many, many years is no longer well enough to stay at home, they’re forced to go into a residential care home.

You want to move with them, but your local council decides that you don’t fit the criteria.

The Human Rights Act has been used in cases just like this to help keep older couples together. It places public authorities, like hospitals and social services, under an obligation to respect people’s family and private lives, including their relationships.

‘I looked at the Human Rights Act and realised it was saying yes, you are worth as much as any other human being.’

Jan Sutton

In a perfect world, everyone would live with dignity.

But in the real world, this doesn’t always happen.

Jan, who suffers from MS, was given such a low level of care from her local council that she was forced to spend all day, every day in bed. ‘It was degrading and it was inhumane’, said Jan.

Thanks to the Human Rights Act, which requires local authorities to make sure their decisions don’t put people in those conditions, she was able to argue for them to increase support just enough that she could start living her life again.

'The case showed that the Human Rights Act provides a crucial check on the power of the state over disabled people’s lives.'

Elizabeth Prochaska, barrister at Matrix Chambers

Local authorities don’t always make the right decision.

Human rights laws hold them to account and put families first.

Steven has a severe learning disability and requires substantial care from his dad, Mark. When Mark became ill, it was agreed that Steven would go into temporary care to help out while his father recovered. It was only meant to be a short stay.

But Steven wasn’t happy and wanted to go home. Even though Mark was better and wanted his son to come home, the council refused to reunite Steven and his dad.

After a year of fighting for his son, Mark finally won and the court concluded that the council had breached Steven’s human rights by keeping him away from his dad.

Save the Human Rights Act