Developing public support for human rights in the United Kingdom: reasserting the importance of socio-economic rights

Karen Bell, Sarah J Cemlyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Public support for human rights in the UK remains limited, partly as a result of misleading media coverage, as well as political hostility. The UK Human Rights Act, in particular, has been under sustained attack and is now threatened by the Conservative Party's drive to repeal it. We analyse recent quantitative and qualitative data on public attitudes in order to learn how to increase public support for human rights practice and principles. The conclusion we reach is that, in order to increase support for human rights in the UK, a central objective should be to shift the focus of human rights discourse so that it better reflects the every-day concerns of the UK public. We consider that this would best be achieved through emphasising socio-economic rights. This could be an especially relevant strategy in the current austerity context which presents both opportunities and threats with regard to mobilising support for human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-841
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Volume18
Issue number7-8
Early online date1 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • discourse
  • equality
  • socio-economic rights
  • structural explanations

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