The Green Party, believing that consumer capitalism is a big part of the problem, not the solution, builds its policies on the core rights we would want everyone on the planet to share - a roof over their head, warmth, good food on the table, health care and supportive relationships, dignity in work. Climate change threatens the right to life itself - for the whole of humanity - and so getting humanity's relationship with the planet back on track is an essential task of work for human rights.
Within that overarching vision, there are many smaller human rights issues which the Green Party has committed itself to address. Our recently-launched manifesto states:
Greens are internationalists and want to live in a world that is just and fair, secure and peaceful, and where human rights are universally respected. We will make the UK a force for international good, respected throughout the global community, with coherent foreign policies based on building effective and cooperative security relations across the world.
We would immediately repeal the unsatisfactory Lobbying Act, so that civil society organisations can campaign properly.
We would retain the principle that human rights are the common property of the whole world by keeping the Human Rights Act and retaining the UK’s membership of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe.
We would make equality before the law a fundamental constitutional right. But this is only a reality if all can afford to use the law. We would restore the cuts to Legal Aid, costing around £700 million a year.
We would outlaw the use of torture, the sale of torture equipment and the rendition of people to countries where torture is not prohibited, and enforce the laws against it.
We would take proportionate measures to protect against terrorism, ensuring that civil liberties are not undermined in the process, that communities are not scapegoated and that action reflects a genuine assessment of the threat to our security. We need targeted policing and security service activities, not mass surveillance, prisons that rehabilitate those convicted of terrorism offences and effective programmes to prevent radicalisation and to de-radicalise individuals.
We would uphold the principles of freedom of speech and peaceful protest, including support for vulnerable communities of all religious faiths and none.
We condemn state-sanctioned breaches of human rights by countries such as China, Syria, Sudan and Pakistan, as well as by individuals or organisations, and we advocate the use of sanctions and legal action via the International Criminal Court for those violating international human rights standards.
Any immigration controls must respect the following principles: International obligations to accept refugees, whether seeking sanctuary from wars, political repression or climate change.
We would ensure that no prospective immigrant is held in detention. As a matter of urgency, the administrative detention of children and pregnant women should cease immediately.
We would review the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, particularly with regard to issues of access to legal advice, childcare and levels of subsistence allowance, and reintroduce Legal Aid for reasonable levels of immigration and asylum work.
We would open up ways for existing irregular migrants who have been here for three years to become legal. In particular, a legal status must be provided for people who have not succeeded in their claim for humanitarian protection but who cannot be returned to their country of origin owing to the political situation there.
We would ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention on Domestic Workers.
We would review asylum procedures to ensure that destitution plays no role in the asylum process by allowing those seeking sanctuary to work.
We would ensure that those who have been trafficked are not subject to summary deportation; we must protect the victims of trafficking. They should receive a temporary right to stay and have the same right to apply to remain as others seeking to migrate.
I support the Green Party policies to protect human rights.