The ECHR matters - we need to defend it

Published on April 16, 2024

Last week, in a landmark ruling, a group of Swiss pensioners won a case through the European Court of Human Rights that made protection from climate change a human right.

The ruling has been described as ushering in 'a new era' of environmental action, because it could pave the way for citizens in 50 European countries to hold governments to account if they fail to tackle the effects of climate change.

The UK is one of those 50 countries, because we are still part of the ECHR. That means that our human rights are protected, in step with those of our fellow Europeans.

And this is something to celebrate. It's what the European project is all about - tackling challenges like climate change together, collectively improving the lives of citizens across the continent, evolving what it means to uphold our rights and shared values.

But here in the UK, it's under threat. As if Brexit hasn't caused enough chaos, certain politicians on the right are consistently agitating to take us out of the ECHR. There's already been a backlash against last week's ruling, with a spokesman for Rishi Sunak calling last week's ruling 'illegitimate', and a flurry of commentators and Brexiter MPs piling on to denounce the court.

So we must stand firm in defending European institutions like the ECHR, which still anchor us to our neighbours - all while working towards rebuilding the full participation in Europe that we once had.

Get involved today by signing our petition to support the UK's continued membership of the ECHR.

Help us put Europe on the political agenda before the general election

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