Donate NOW to fund a nationwide poster blitz to save the Human Rights Act.
We want to create a poster campaign across the national transport network so that ordinary, real people, can tell their stories of how the Human Rights Act helped them to RIGHT a serious WRONG in their lives. For example, bereaved parents Matt and Martina Baines used the Act after their only child, 17 year old Kesia, died, to hold the authorities to account and win changes in the law; Jan Sutton was able to force her local authority to provide her with the care she needs. Rape victims failed by the police have used the Act to hold the police to account and protect others in future.
We want everyone to hear these stories and why the Government should think again about scrapping laws which protect people like us.
We are working with design agency tothepoint to create strong, effective posters which will be seen across the country by millions of people during the two weeks when the campaign will run. Here are initial designs from tothepoint which give an idea of how brilliant the final posters will be.
This project will only be funded if at least £50,000 is pledged by 12 June 2015. This means we must raise £2,000 every day. Your donation will help us reach this target. Please give what you can – every little helps – and spread the word. All funds raised will be spent on designing, producing and installing the posters, as everyone involved in #ActfortheAct is doing so unpaid.
MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Human Rights Act is under threat. The Conservative Government has a Parliamentary majority and their manifesto promised to scrap the Human Rights Act. Many of those who support this plan wrongly believe that the Human Rights Act is for the likes of terrorists, illegal immigrants and criminals. Many others simply don’t know what the Human Rights Act does and they are not motivated to find out.
We know how important the Human Rights Act is to ordinary people, across the country. Every day it helps children, older people, people with disabilities, women at risk of violence, journalists, victims of crime, people with health issues and bereaved families who have lost their loved ones because of failures by the State. We want to shout these stories from the rooftops and make sure that everyone hears.
Taking our inspiration from the ground-breaking #IAmAnImmigrant campaign (which was also crowdfunded), we plan to launch the #ActfortheAct poster campaign, with a series of simple but striking images of real people, with clear, strong messages about how the Human Rights Act protected them. These posters will be across Tube and National Rail networks.
This campaign is being organised by a group of people who have seen first-hand how important the Human Rights Act can be. Our campaign is backed by those whose lives have been helped by the Human Rights Act. These include people like:
- Jan Sutton, who is disabled and used her right to dignity in the Human Rights Act to force her local authority to provide her with the care she needs. As a result, she no longer has to spend most of her days in bed, but can be up and about. See Jan’s story in a film about her success made by our partners in this campaign, Equally Ours; it is also available with further background information on Jan's blog.
- Matt and Martina Brincat-Baines, who used the right to family life in the Human Rights Act to campaign to change the law so that 17 year olds weren’t held in police stations overnight anymore, after the tragic death of their teenage daughter Kesia (pictured), who took her own life after leaving police custody. Kesia was vulnerable and had mental health difficulties but, as a 17 year old, was not entitled to the same kind of care and support that younger children get. The Human Rights Act also meant that the inquest into Kesia's death looked at what went wrong and what lessons needed to be learnt to ensure vulnerable children are kept safer in future. You can read more about the change in the law and Kesia's story here.
#ActfortheAct is also being backed by a raft of small grassroots charities, who work directly with families and individuals who have used the Human Rights Act to put wrongs right. This includes national and local charities and a wide range of issues. If you are a charity or organisation who wants to join our list of supporters, please email us here.
What is the purpose of the poster campaign?
We want to speak directly to the public who hear only a negative narrative about the Human Rights Act. We want to show the public that the Act has played a vital part in protecting the rights of ordinary people, and to let them know that it is a very valuable protection in British law which we should not lose. The poster campaign is a powerful way to reach people who are unlikely to hear these positive stories otherwise. Our posters can be seen by 7.3 million people who use National Rail daily and 4.2 million people who use the London Tube daily.
We will be linking the poster campaign to a website, www.actfortheact.uk (not yet live), for those who want to know more. This will allow us to provide more detail about the people in the posters, and direct people to take action if they are convinced – such as by writing to their MP or by joining a specialist organisation campaigning for the Human Rights Act.
What will the posters say?
The message of our poster campaign will be a positive one about ‘right and wrong’ - concepts which are universally understood and supported.
They will be the stories of real people, who are saying, ‘A WRONG thing happened to me, and I used the Human Rights Act to make it RIGHT.’
We plan to produce four different posters, so we are seeking four powerful stories about how the Human Rights Act has put wrongs right. The message on the posters will be simple. It will consist of a photograph of the individual or group along with a description of what was wrong and what has changed. Examples of the kind of messages the posters would carry are (all based on real cases):
- ‘It was WRONG that my night-time carers weren’t given enough time to help me to the bathroom. Now I have my dignity back.’
- ‘It was WRONG that the police did not believe me and did not investigate when I reported a rape. Now the rapist has been locked away and our streets are safer.’
- ‘It was WRONG for my local council to shut the library, so disabled people like me no longer had access to books. Now it’s open again.’
If you have used the Human Rights Act to put wrongs right, and you would like to share your story, please contact us urgently using this application form.
We need a minimum of £50,000 to create this nationwide poster campaign to tell positive stories about the Human Rights Act in London tube stations and across the country in National Rail stations. This crowdfunding initiative is ‘all or nothing’ – if we do not hit the target of £50,000, all funds are returned and the campaign cannot happen. Please support the campaign and #ActForTheAct.
The vast bulk of these costs are to cover publicity on the transport network, arranged through Exterion Media (poster production and distribution). We are getting charity rates which reduces the cost.
We have secured the services of a graphic designer and photographer for free, but we do need to cover their expenses.
If we can exceed our target and secure £65,000, we will also be able to fund a dedicated website and digital campaign. If we secure more than £100,000 we will be able to spread the word more widely, on local buses and trams in areas across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
By visiting this website and funding our campaign, you have already taken action, so thank you. Remember that anything you can give will help bring us closer to the £50,000 target.
Please also think about:
- Spreading the word, using the hashtag #ActForTheAct.
- Asking others to support our call for funding.
- Follow us on twitter (@ActForTheAct) and 'Like' our Facebook page.
- Telling us about the human rights stories which the world should hear, using this application form and emailing us here.
- Writing to your MP to urge him or her to support the Human Rights Act.
- And if you can, tweeting your human rights selfie, using this template to tell the world that the Human Rights Act is for everyone.
If you or your organisation wishes to support the campaign, or provide any other assistance, please contact us via @ActForTheAct or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who We Are
This campaign is being organised by a group of people who have seen first-hand just how important the Human Rights Act can be. We have a Steering Group of 10 people working together. They are:
- Matt and Martina Brincat-Baines (you can read their story above)
- Jan Sutton (you can read her story above)
- Fiona Bawdon, a journalist, campaigner and researcher
- Caoilfhionn Gallagher and Martha Spurrier, human rights campaigners and barristers
- Rachel Krys, Equally Ours
- Shauneen Lambe, Director, Just for Kids Law
- Clive Stafford Smith OBE, human rights lawyer
- Anna Edmundson, children's rights campaigner
What about other campaigns?
The Conservative Government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act have sparked a flurry of campaigning activity by individuals and groups opposed to the change. This is fantastic to see. Campaigns are being run by Liberty ( ‘Save our HRA’), the British Institute of Human Rights (‘Protect What Protects Us All’) and Amnesty (‘Do the Human Right Thing’), and the recently launched RightsInfo sets out clear information on why human rights matter. There are a number of online petitions, a group known as Lawyers Against the Repeal of the Human Rights Act (LARHRA) has been launched, and there are umpteen articles in certain parts of the press, speaking up in favour of the Act.
We welcome them all and we hope that everyone will pull together to save the Human Rights Act using all their different ideas and resources.
Why is this campaign different?
What #ActfortheAct is trying to do is different to these other initiatives. We want to fill a gap by reaching out to all members of the public, many of whom voted for the Conservatives in the General Election or do not read the newspapers which print positive human rights stories. They never hear the positive stories and we want to change that before it’s too late.
If you care about righting wrongs, it’s time to donate to support #ActfortheAct.