So, we wrote to the Prime Minister … newsletter 23 March 2017

23 Mar, 2017 | Newsletters

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René Cassin’s Director, Mia Hasenson-Gross, writes:

Dear Supporter

The European Convention on Human Rights was drawn up in response to the atrocities of the Nazis and the growing totalitarianism of Stalin’s Soviet Union. But it appears that Theresa May wants to withdraw the UK from the Convention. René Cassin believes such a move would be catastrophic for human rights in the UK and beyond.

We wrote to the PM last month, urging her to reconsider. We received a reply from Foreign Office minister, Baroness Anelay saying the current Government ‘has no plans to withdraw from the ECHR’.

Whilst we welcome confirmation that the Human Rights Convention is safe during this Parliament, we are urging the Conservative Party to include explicit support for it in its manifesto for the 2020 general election.

Read reports of our letter in the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News.

  • What does Brexit mean for human rights? There are few more qualified to judge than Keir Starmer. The Shadow Brexit Secretary has been scrutinising the Government’s plans – not least from the perspective of his former roles as prominent human rights lawyer and Director of Public Prosecutions. Now you have the chance to scrutinise him in turn – at our ‘Keir Starmer in Conversation with Jo Coburn’ event at JW3 on Thursday 11 May – more details and booking info here.

  • Uniting to tackle hate crime – earlier this week, René Cassin and the Board of Deputies brought Jewish and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together in solidarity against hatred and prejudice. Read our report of the meeting.
  • Success! Our call – with the Traveller Movement and Irish Chaplaincy – for ethnic monitoring of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in the youth justice system has been heard by the Government. The Youth Justice Board plans to implement this essential change by March 2018. Read more here.

  • Where does the man who washed my car sleep at night? That’s a question ‘we prefer not to answer’, according to our ‘Human Writes’ essay competition winner, Will Bordell. We asked whether Theresa May is right to call modern slavery ‘the great human rights issue of our time’ – and you replied in your droves! Read the winning essays and judge Joshua Rozenberg’s comments here.
  • Slavery is not history – the global number of enslaved people is nearly 46 million, roughly the population of Spain. Why don’t anti-slavery laws work? Read Hannah Richter’s analysis.

  • ‘Detention kills your mind, it kills your soul … and sometimes it just kills.’ Sam Grant tells Jewish News readers about community-based alternatives to immigration detention.
  • And at Westminster, MPs press Immigration Minister on the detention of vulnerable people – read the official record and the comments of those involved (including René Cassin) in the debate.
  • ‘The refugee story is a Jewish story’ – read about René Cassin’s involvement in ‘Refugee Day’ at December’s Limmud Conference
  • Get involved – we’re looking for volunteers to join our Campaign Group on indefinite detention of asylum seekers. Interested? Please email

  •  More success! René Cassin was the runner-up in the ‘Social Justice’ category of the SMK 2017 Campaigner Awards run by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation and presented at the House of Lords.

  • As you can see, we’re busy! But there is a great deal still to do – and we need your help. We rely on the generosity of our supporters for the funds to continue our vital work. You can make a one-off or regular donation to René Cassin via our website at

Thank you

 MHG signtaure
Mia Hasenson-Gross

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