EARC Conference 2022 – Localising human rights

Venue: Signature Room

Launched in 2020, Human Rights Local is a project of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex that aims to make human rights locally relevant. It challenges the notion that international human rights laws and principles are somehow alien to people’s daily lives.

Using international law as a reference point, campaigners and community groups in the UK and internationally are vernacularising human rights; in other words, they are building on lived experience to acknowledge local narratives while remaining loyal to the global pillars human rights are built upon. The session will provide an opportunity to present the ongoing work to make human rights locally relevant in and near Colchester, and will present the findings of a new report on Poverty and Social Rights in Essex.

Case study: How to approach to best practice in addressing emergency homelessness assistance

The right to housing and shelter is a basic human right. Given limited provision of specialist housing advice in the region and limited collaboration, how can we identify issues and solve them and ensure rights and responsibilities known about? 

One issue is the provision of s188 emergency accommodation at crisis point and the idea for a project between Essex law clinic and beacon house in Colchester to improve provision in this area, drawing lessons and learning from other practitioners and local authorities to improve assistance to street homeless and sofa surfing homeless/homeless at home.  

Davies works across Suffolk and Essex and sees an opportunity to create a regional community of practice in regard to the legal rights of homeless people for assistance and helping local authorities with their duties. There are both practical and policy implications for this session but it is hoped it would be the start of an ongoing network for improving provision of support to the homeless and access to legal support.

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