In these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our staff, members and partners remains our primary concern. It is with a heavy heart that BHRC has taken the difficult decision to suspend all trial monitoring, training and events until the end of June 2020 at the earliest, and subject to monthly review.
As a human rights organisation, we recognise that there are many challenges ahead for governments introducing urgent measures to halt or slow the spread of COVID-19 which also may have ramifications for a wide range of individual and collective human rights. We consider transparency and open communication is critical for all governments engaging in such measures, as they conduct difficult balancing acts which may have unintended consequences. We also consider that it is critical for governments to ensure the most vulnerable people in our collective societies remain protected.
Our work would not be possible without the expertise, time and commitment of our Executive Committee and wider membership. We cannot claim that it is ‘business as usual’, but we do consider it critical that our individual and collective human rights, in their many aspects and comprising respect for the rule of law, remain a vital part of the dialogue, and framing agenda in the weeks and months ahead. We welcome ideas, suggestions and alternative ways of engaging with the challenges that lie ahead.
Thank you for your continued support for BHRC and our work.
Schona Jolly QC
Chair, Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales