Manchester City Council

The Council & democracy Equality Guidance and Information

The Human Rights Act 1998

Human rights are the rights and freedoms that belong to all of us, regardless of our nationality and citizenship. In October 2000, The Human Rights Act (the Act) came into effect in the UK, outlining a range of rights and freedoms affecting all individuals in the UK. These are:

- Right to life

- Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment

- Right to liberty and security

- Freedom from slavery and forced labour

- Right to a fair trial

- No punishment without law

- Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence

- Freedom of thought, belief and religion

- Freedom of expression

- Freedom of assembly and association

- Right to marry and start a family

- Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms

- Right to peaceful enjoyment of your property

- Right to education

- Right to participate in free elections

Not all of these rights and freedoms carry the same weight. There are broadly three types:

- Absolute rights, meaning that the state can never withhold or take them away

- Limited rights, which may be limited under clear and limited circumstances

- Qualified rights, which require a balance between the rights of the individual and the needs of the wider community interest

Any action taken to interfere with these rights and freedoms can only be justified if there is a legitimate and legal basis for it (for example, action taken in the interest of public safety), which people can find out about and understand. Action has to be in response to 'a pressing social need', and shouldn't be any greater than that necessary to meet the social need.

Manchester City Council respects the rights and freedoms that the Act affords the city's residents, and seeks to embed these into the way that it delivers services, provides employment and empowers the city's communities. Manchester is justifiably proud of the diversity of its population, and safeguarding the dignity and human rights of our diverse communities is at the heart of what we do every day. This plays an important role in how we continue to develop as a council, and as a city.

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?