Whistleblower, abortion rights campaigners and entire Welsh town honoured at Liberty Human Rights Awards

Posted by Martha Spurrier on 25 October 2017

When it comes to the Government respecting and protecting our rights, freedom and equality, this has been a dark year – from the contempt for democracy shown in the Repeal Bill to technologically illiterate attacks on our online privacy and the continued creep of immigration enforcement into every corner of UK life. 

But last night Liberty members and supporters came together to honour those who aren’t willing to sit back and accept this vision of our country’s future at our annual Human Rights Awards.

All those nominated are human rights champions, who speak truth to power, fight injustice and stick up for people when those at the top let them down.

Northern Ireland abortion rights campaigners

Exactly 50 years after free, safe and legal abortions were introduced in England, Scotland and Wales, our Long Walk Award honoured the Northern Ireland abortion rights movement, who’ve spent five decades campaigning for women and girls in Northern Ireland to have those same basic rights.

Their fight still goes on – and we stand by them in that fight. Every day women and girls are criminalised and denied the dignity of having choice over their own bodies because of Northern Ireland’s Victorian abortion laws.

Callum Tulley took home the Courageous Voice Award for blowing the whistle on the chaos, violence and abuse at Brook House immigration removal centre, where he worked.

Cecile Lansford won the Christine Jackson Young Person of the Year Award for her work with York Human Rights City Network to ensure human rights are considered in all of the city’s laws, policies and decision-making.

Playwright Inua Ellams won the Human Rights Arts Award for An Evening with an Immigrant, which examined his history and the UK’s complex relationship with immigration.

Adam Creme from UNISON was awarded Lawyer of the Year for leading the litigation that successfully challenged the lawfulness of Employment Tribunal fees and ultimately saw them abolished, with the Government refunding those forced to pay.   

Croeso Arberth and the people of Narberth won the More in Common Award, in association with the Jo Cox Foundation, for their work to provide a safe haven for refugee families fleeing war and terror.

It was an evening filled with hope and inspiration, offering us all an opportunity to celebrate vital work that often goes unrecognised – but is sadly needed more than ever.

For the opportunity to join us at next year’s Liberty Human Rights Awards and to support our work defending rights and freedoms in the UK, become a member today.

Martha Spurrier Liberty

Martha Spurrier