The UK has been “moving in the wrong direction on human rights” for years, according to a new global report from leading human rights organisation Amnesty International, which strongly criticised the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the forthcoming policing bill.
Authorities “violated the right to health and right to life” of elderly people in care homes in the early months of the pandemic, wrote the authors, who also raised concerns over the impact of policies on women, immigrants, and Black and Asian communities across 2020.
“Having made mistake after lethal mistake during the pandemic, the Government is now shamefully trying to strip away our right to lawfully challenge its decisions no matter how poor they are,” said Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK.
“For years, the UK has been moving in the wrong direction on human rights – but things are now getting worse at an accelerating rate.“
The new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has been met with angry opposition across the country in recent weeks for its proposed limits to legal protest, and throughout the pandemic the government has faced criticism for a lack of accountability for one of the highest death rates in the world.
Inadequate regular testing and protective equipment in care homes, as well as discharging people who had or may have had Covid-19 back into the homes, was followed by widespread condemnation and hundreds of deaths in the first months of the pandemic.