UNICEF UK joined with 42 other leading organisations to call on political party leaders to protect the Human Rights Act in an open letter to mark international Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The NGOs have come together to express disappointment at the Human Rights Act so often being vilified, and call for positive leadership from our political leaders on the Human Rights Act.

"Many voices are coming together to speak with one voice to defend the Human Rights Act", said Stephen Bowen, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights.

"We hold a common belief in the common good of the Human Rights Act. Human rights are about human beings, and making sure we’re all treated fairly and decently."

"After a year when human rights abroad have been in the front of everyone's minds we would like to see our political representatives stand up for human rights here at home and not to fuel the urban myths which surround the Human Rights Act."

Sam Whyte, domestic policy and parliamentary manager at UNICEF UK said of the letter: "For UNICEF UK, the Human Rights Act is an essential foundation for ensuring all children and young people are treated with dignity and respect, and can enjoy their rights and entitlements without discrimination or prejudice. International Human Rights Day offers a real opportunity for politicians to stand up and be counted for human rights."

Human Rights Day 2011 is on 10 December.  © British Institute of Human Rights
Human Rights Day 2011 is on 10 December. © British Institute of Human Rights