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Emma McClure dispels human rights myths at QED

SL5's Emma McClure was recently asked to speak at the QED conference in Manchester on the topic of human rights and, in particular, the truth behind a lot of the media headlines which suggest that these rights are only used by ‘scoundrels’ or people who are trying to avoid legitimate punishment.

This has been in the news a lot recently as the Secretary of State for Justice seeks to replace the Human Rights Act with a ‘British’ Bill of Rights. This Bill seeks, amongst other things, to make everyone’s ability to access their rights contingent on past behaviour.

Emma appeared alongside Qays Sediqi who has represented some of those caught up in the plan to transfer asylum seekers who arrive in the UK to Rwanda. Along with prisoners, asylum seekers are often the other bogeyman used to whip up anger towards the concept of human rights. This conference happened on the same day that a man with alleged extreme right wing sympathies fire-bombed an immigration detention centre.

Emma was able to set out why human rights protection is vital to prisoners and dispel myths about the difficulties prisoners experience day to day, trying to navigate a prison system which is currently broken in a number of significant ways.

Most of those in the audience did not have experience of imprisonment and many found the issues Emma spoke about extremely concerning.

Thankfully the audience were very receptive to Emma and Qays' arguments, and Emma was able to explain ways in which those not affected by imprisonment can support those who are, with the aim of ensuring that rights protection continues for everyone.

Emma is available to give talks on the subjects of prison law or human rights in person throughout the UK or remotely. If you are interested in inviting Emma to speak to your group or organisation, please contact Emma at


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