Plans to abolish Britain’s Human Rights Act, proposed new spying laws and U.K.’s absence from European Union’s refugee resettlement program are all factors that can set a dangerous precedent by undermining human rights and contribute to the “culture of impunity.”
David Cameron’s government plans to replace the Human Rights Act, which was incorporated into British Law in 1998, with the British Bills of Rights. The objective of the act is hold to account the 47 European countries that have membership with the Council of Europe, offering protection and rights to individual against government excess.
Non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International are expressing concerns the new bill will not contain adequate measures to protect civil rights.
The government has been denounced for breaching private data and allowing insufficiently accountable agencies to carry out mass surveillance. Last year, the U.K. government also opted out of plans to relocate 160,000 people from Italy, Greece and Hungary amid the refugee crisis.
“The U.K. is setting a dangerous precedent to the world on human rights. There's no doubt that the downgrading of human rights by this government is a gift to dictators the world over and fatally undermines our ability to call on other countries to uphold rights and laws," said Kate Allen, the U.K. director of Amnesty International.
The human rights organization is not the only one who is concerned about this radical change. Celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch, Vanessa Redgrave and Indira Virma of "Game of Thrones" have appeared in a video championing the Human Rights Act as essential to human freedom.
When a Tory MP talks about being ‘shackled by regulation’, we all know he’s talking about #TheHumanRightsAct and employment law.— Some Bloke in a Hat (@toolegs) February 22, 2016
A U.N. official has claimed axing the Human Rights Act would be like repeating the crimes of the Nazis.
“We have to remember the 1930s and how the rights of the Jews were restricted in Germany and then the rights of the whole German people,” professor Francois Crepeau, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said. "I mean, countries that go down the path of reducing the rights of one category of people usually don’t stop there.”
Referring to the plans, Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: "It is irresponsible for any campaign group to criticize our proposals before they've seen them.”