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18 November, 2005

Cherie Booth calls for better human rights education

Last night Cherie Booth said there is a serious need for better education about human rights if we are to avoid completely losing faith in them.

Speaking at the inaugural Hooper Lecture in London, she warned that the image of the Human Rights Act that reaches the public is too negative, and is undermining people's understanding of how human rights can protect and benefit everyone.

Human rights should be at the centre of all our lives, she said, but many people were unaware of how the law can be used to protect them.

She went on to cite a number of cases where the Human Rights Act had been used to the benefit of individuals.

For example, one man had successfully challenged the sale of his details on the electoral register. It was held that his right to privacy had been breached, and that his decision to vote should not be based on his willingness to be contacted by marketing companies.

The Citizenship Foundation, she said, played a crucial role in making information accessible to members of the general public, and in helping to demystify the law.

Cherie Booth was speaking in her capacity as a trustee of the Citizenship Foundation, at the first in a series of annual lectures in honour of Lord Justice Hooper.

The lecture was launched last year, and celebrates the enormous contribution Lord Justice Hooper has made to public understanding of citizenship education, including as a founder trustee of the Citizenship Foundation.

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