Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

World is watching UK General Election, say human rights organisations

Campaigners have said the world is watching to see if the UK abandons the international human rights order (Victoria Jones/PA)
Campaigners have said the world is watching to see if the UK abandons the international human rights order (Victoria Jones/PA)

This General Election is a “fork in the road” with the world watching to see if the UK abandons the international human rights order, campaigners have said.

A number of civil liberty organisations have come together to call for greater scrutiny of human rights policy in the campaign period ahead of the July 4 vote.

The result and subsequent approach of the new government will be a “critical moment” for the UK and how it is seen on the global stage, according to Yasmine Ahmed, UK director of Human Rights Watch.

The organisation joined Liberty, Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture and Inclusion London to press for more focus on which direction the next political administration might take when it comes to rights.

Labour has stated its commitment to international legal conventions, with its manifesto saying: “Britain will unequivocally remain a member of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

The Conservative manifesto stopped short of saying the UK could leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), despite calls from some on the right of the party, including former home secretary Suella Braverman.

But it has stated that “if we are forced to choose between our security and the jurisdiction of a foreign court” – including the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the convention, “we will always choose our security”.

Sonya Sceats, chief executive at Freedom from Torture, said: “I think it really illustrates how diminished our politics has come to be that this is even in contention.”

The organisations have long criticised the Illegal Migration Act 2023, a law intended to stop people who arrive in the UK illegally from being able to stay here and which the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has previously said effectively amounts to an “asylum ban”.

They have also called for the Rwanda scheme to be scrapped with Ms Ahmed recalling how an international diplomat recently asked her: “Do you think I’m ever going to listen to a UK diplomat or Foreign Office official about us as a country taking in refugees when you have a deal with Rwanda to expel asylum seekers before they’ve even had a right to claim (asylum)?”

She said instances like that show how the election is “a critical moment internationally for the UK Government to recommit to the international rules-based order, an order that it was a foundational player in establishing”.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s chief executive, said the “world is watching this election” because it is seen as “a turning point of whether the UK believes in consistency and support for international frameworks and for the international human rights order or whether a path, which the world feels we have taken a first step down, to abandon that order and abandon an order that we helped build actually becomes the road that this country runs down”.

He added: “This election is seen around the world as that fork in the road.”

Sam Grant, advocacy director at Liberty, said recent years have seen “some of our most valued rights and protections shrink across the board”.

He said: “New laws have reduced workers’ rights, migrants’ rights, the right to vote and our right to protest, and these will continue to impact all of us long after the General Election.”

The comments came as World Refugee Day on Thursday was marked by a coalition of charities and human rights organisations, co-ordinated by Together With Refugees, gathering outside Parliament for what it described as a kickabout outside the Houses of Parliament to call for a “fair shot” for people seeking asylum in the UK.

Succession actor Brian Cox, who is supporting the campaign, said: “The chaos and cruelty of the current asylum system cannot be allowed to continue. The next government has the chance to make a major reset on how the UK treats refugees.

“It must commit to a fair new plan for refugees and represent what we know people across the country really want.  I’m proud to join Team Fair Begins Here on World Refugee Day and take a stand for something better.”