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Human Rights 2019 – 2024

Our Human Rights Toolkit

Human rights are for everyone, no matter who they are. Having human rights are important to us as people with learning disabilities, because of the inequalities that exist for us. The Human Rights Act 1998 has protected us for many years.

Human rights are always at the heart of what we do, but in 2022 we had to work extra hard with our campaign activities so that we could keep our Human Rights. This is because the UK Government wanted to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights.

As you will see, we work closely on many of our human rights activities with the British Institute if Human Rights. Joe Powell, our Chief Executive also sits on the Welsh Government Cross Party Group on Human Rights and the Stakeholder Group.


Here is a timeline of our human rights campaign journey since 2019

10th December Human Rights Day 2019

British Institute of Human Rights wrote:

“Today is Human Rights Day. On this day we celebrate universal human rights. These freedoms, written down after World War II in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have been brought home through the UK’s Human Rights Act and European laws.

As this year Human Rights Day coincides with a General Election, our letter has been sent to all party leaders, calling on them to commit to safeguarding universal human rights. It has been signed by over 100 civil society groups.”

Action: AWPF supported this call on all party leaders and signed the letter.


7th July 2020

Action: All Wales People First became Welsh Partners with the BIHR – The British Institute of Human Rights in delivering online rights training on Section 8 of the Human Rights Act.

This was especially relevant to difficult times during the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdowns.

Section 8 of the Human Rights Act covers respect for private and family life as well as home and correspondence.


  • The training helped people with learning disabilities to understand and use their rights under the Human Rights Act, especially Section 8.
  • In August 2020 we supported a member to use their rights under the Human Rights Act
  • This helped us to meet our commitments in our MIRROR Strategy 2019-2022.


9th September 2020

Action: In partnership with other organisations, we signed a position statement to defend the Human Rights Act and access to justice,


12th November 2020

Action: AWPF Chief Executive Joe Powell appeared on the evening BBC Wales Today News. Joe spoke about Human Rights during Covid.

Joe said:

All Wales People First is an organisation which supports people with learning disabilities, the guidance is positive but I am frustrated it has taken so long to be published.

I am concerned it is quite woolly about exactly how decisions will be made on things like extended households.

I believe there has been a fundamental breach of human rights of people with learning disabilities during this pandemic.

I believe that the approach taken has been overly proscribed.

It has not been the least restrictive or proportionate to the situation.

People have been isolated, they’ve been lonely, there have been issues of people with mental health difficulties increased by this, who have been suicidal, who have not been able to fulfil their wellbeing duties as promoted under the Social Services and Wellbeing Wales Act and other key Welsh Government legislation.”


27th November 2020

Action: Joe Powell our Chief Executive joined a panel for a British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) event.

It was Chaired by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. The event marked the 70th Anniversary of the European Convention of Human Rights and the 22nd anniversary of the Human Rights Act.

Joe shared members’ experiences and his own thoughts. He said that Human Rights were facing their most critical challenges for some time. He spoke on the panel about the huge impact the Pandemic had had on human rights for people with learning disabilities.


10 December 2020

BIHR – The British Institute of Human Rights sent a letter to the Prime Minister and other UK Leaders on Human Rights day and the 70th Anniversary of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The letter reminded leaders of the need to be committed to Human Rights and to be mindful of the extra challenges to Human Rights which were made worse by Covid 19.

Action: AWPF was one of many organisations who co-signed the letter.


March 2021

Our Manifesto called on the Welsh Government to include the

UNCRPD in Welsh law. It also called on the Welsh Government to establish a

Commissioner for People with Learning Disabilities to champion our rights and bring attention to inequalities.


25th Feb 2022

We heard that the UK Government were reviewing the Human Rights Act in the United Kingdom. They wanted to replace the Human Rights laws.

They wanted to change the laws from the ones we had in Europe to ones that are British.

An ‘easier to read version without pictures’ was published on 24th February. You told us it was hard to understand.

We had to work fast as there was not much time respond! The consultation was due to close on 8th March

Action: We asked you to get in touch with us to have your say about an Easy read document and what you thought about the consultation.…/human-rights…

Action: We let you know that the BIHR had useful information about the consultation on its website…


4th March 2022 

Action: We updated you on our actions and we let you know how to get involved with the Human Rights Act consultation.

We said:

You might already know about the UK Government’s plans to change Human Rights Law?

We’ve talked about it a lot lately because human rights are so important for everyone.

The UK Government want to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a UK Bill of Rights instead.

The consultation for the change started on December 16th last year but they have not made an easy read version. Last week they published a version and called it easy read but…

  • there are no pictures,
  • it does not cover all of the full consultation
  • and the questions are still too complicated.

You can view it here ISL249 21 Human Rights words only (

What are we doing about this?

We have used what you have told us to fill in All Wales People First’s response to the consultation

We have written a joint letter with lots of other organisations to the Joint Committee on Human rights in UK Parliament. The letter explains that the consultation is not accessible for people with learning disabilities and that is not ok.

AWPF and other organisations have supported Pembrokeshire People First’s letter to Dominic Raab about the “unlawful” consultation. You can read more about the letter here

What can you do about this?

You can reply to the consultation yourself.

Here is the consultation document

The British Institute of Human Rights has done a helpful guide on how to reply to the consultation

You can ask your MP to let the Ministry of Justice know that their consultation does not include people with learning disabilities as fully and equally as non-disabled people.

You can use these letters to send to your MP.

Remember to add your name and your MP’s name to this letter


Send this letter along with the other letter. You do not need to add anything to this one.

You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here

WriteToThem – Email your Councillor, MP, MSP, MS, MLA or London Assembly Member for free


4th March 2022

Action: AWPF and other organisations wrote to the Joint Committee on Human Rights in UK Parliament to explain that the easy read consultation was published too late and was not accessible for people with a learning disability.

We let you know that you could ask your MP to let the Ministry of Justice know that their consultation does not include people with learning disabilities as fully and equally as non-disabled people.

We shared an example letter with you

Outcome: on 8th March the UK Government published an Easy Read version of the Human Rights consultation. They gave an extra 6 weeks for people with learning disabilities to have their say about it.


8 March 2022

We let you know about the latest news on the consultation about human rights

We said:

Today the UK Government has published new Easy Read and audio versions of the consultation about human rights

Groups and organisations who support people with learning disabilities have extra time to send in a response to the consultation. They have an extra 6 weeks until 19th April.


You need to email to ask for permission if you want to respond during this extended part of the extended consultation period.

You can find out more here

The Easy Read version of the consultation is here


11th March 2022

Action: We gave an update on the Human Rights Act consultation and how you could still have your say before 19th April

We said: If you’ve been watching Facebook, Twitter and our News section lately, you will already know there’s been a lot happening with the Human Rights Act consultation.

Last week we were busy working with the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and other partners about the poor accessibility of the consultation.

Thank you to the BIHR, organisations and members who supported this work by signing the letter to the Human Rights Committee.

Thanks to Rook Irwin Sweeney Solicitors, BIHR, Pembrokeshire People First, My Life My Choice, and Warrington Speak Up for their action on a Solicitor’s letter to Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Justice.

You really did make a difference and our voices were heard. There have been some positive outcomes so far.

  1. A new Easy Read version of the consultation was published on 8th March 2022
  2. The deadline has been extended to 19th April 2022 for people who need to use Easy Read or Audio versions and for groups who support people who use these versions
  3. Over the next few weeks the Ministry of Justice will hold roundtable meetings to clarify the consultation with disability groups

If you still want to respond to the consultation before 19th April you must email to ask for an extension.

Please let us know if you receive a reply saying that you are not allowed an extension.

Keep watching our Facebook, Twitter and website news section for more news on the Human Rights consultation.

Here is some text which the BIHR has said you could use in an email asking for an extension to reply to the Human Rights Act consultation:

“To the Ministry of Justice,

My name is [your name] and I would like to ask for an extension until 19 April 2022 to share my views on the consultation on Human Rights Act Reform. This is because I need the Easy Read/ audio version [delete one of these options if it is not right for you] of the document to respond.

If I am not allowed this extension, I would like you to tell me the reason why.

Thank you,

[your name]”


21st June 2022

Action: We listened to the BIHR in their workshop on human rights at our AdFest 2022 event .

AWPF member Harry said ‘human rights are a matter of law. We should all be able to give our opinion’

AWPF member Darren said that “we have all got a voice”.

AWPF member Stephen said “human rights mean independence”



6th July 2022

Action: we gave you a progress update on our work and how you could get involved

We said:

On 22nd June, the UK Government published a new Bill to take over our Human Rights Act.

The Bill of Rights will not give us any new rights or make our rights stronger than they are now under the Human Rights Act.

If the Bill does take over from our Human Rights Act, it will weaken our human rights and mean that the Government’s has less responsibility to uphold our rights.

As you know, we’ve already had our say on the Bill of Rights through responding to the official consultation.

Unfortunately though, our voices and over 12 thousand others who responded don’t seem to have been heard.

The Government is pressing ahead quickly to get the Bill of Rights enacted.

What are we doing?

We are writing to MPs in Wales to let them know our concerns about the Bill of Rights.

We hope that they will support our voice.

What can you do?

You can write to your MP asking them to support your call to keep the Human Rights Act.

If you would like to send a letter or email to your MP, here is a form which BIHR have done to help you write what your concerns are.

You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here

The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) are working hard to keep us all up to date with the latest news and to give us some helpful tools we can use to get our voices heard.

If you’d like to read more about the latest news and what BIHR is doing, click this link to the Human Rights news section of their website


20th  September 2022

Outcome: The Bill of rights was due to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 12th September 2022. The reading did not go ahead. The new Government decided to shelve human rights reform plans.

This was a good outcome for AWPF members who had campaigned to protect their human rights.

The Government could decide to change the Bill or schedule the Second Reading later on, or abandon the Bill of Rights altogether.

We said that we would continue to work with members and partner organisations on any developments.


June 2023

The theme of our AdFest 2023 event was Human Rights

Sanchita Hosali from the BIHR was a guest speaker at the event. Sanchita said:

“Human rights help us to live with dignity and respect” #LDAdFest2023

During AdFest 2023 we talked a lot about our human rights in the in the @BIHRhumanrights workshop and other workshops

One member said “I have the right to get married and have a girlfriend. It’s important that we speak up for ourselves”


26th June 2023

Action: We shared our Position Statement on Human Rights


29th September 2023

Action: All Wales People First members David Whittle and Richard Redmond met with Jacob from the BIHR – The British Institute of Human Rights and All Wales People First colleagues Joe Powell, Tracey Drew and Kelly Stuart to work on the design of a human rights solution for our members.


7th December 2023

Action: Ahead of Human Rights Day on December 10th, we talked about Human Rights on our new TikTok account. We interviewed members about their views on what human rights mean to them.

TikTok profile here:


13th December 2023

Attended BIHR – The British Institute of Human Rights excellent Human Rights day event at the House of Lords.

During the event All Wales People First showcased the first draft of our Human Rights toolkit. The toolkit will help self-advocates and other Disabled people to challenge decisions that are unlawful or unfair.

The toolkit was very much inspired by the experiences of our member Jack Cavanagh, whose experiences have highlighted the gap in government policy and implementation. Jack was living in an institutionalised setting because the services he was entitled to could not be provided.

AWPF National Council Rep Tracy Austin and Joe Powell spoke at the event. Lucy Hinksman took some great pictures. Lucy was representing Pembrokeshire People First and All Wales People First. Tracey Drew our member Engagement Manager supported members to attend and prepare the speech.


11th December 2023

Action: On the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we joined the BIHR – The British Institute of Human Rights & 75+ orgs calling on political leaders to protect human rights for everyone in the UK. #HumanRightsDay

Letter and the Easy Read version:


16th February 2024

Outcome: Official launch and sharing of the toolkit

Using Human Rights: A toolkit to advocate for your Human Rights


13-18 March 2024

Joe Powell travelled to Geneva with many disabled people and representatives from UK Disabled People’s organisations (DPO’s)

On Monday 18th March, the UK government faced the United Nations about violating disabled people’s rights.

We shared a template letter for you to use, calling on your MP to enshrine the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (CRPD) into UK Law