More than 60 years ago European leaders gathered to sign the European Convention on Human Rights; a landmark international treaty born out of the horrors of the Second World War, and championed by the then British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. The Convention declares that human rights are “the foundation of peace and justice in the world” and that they are ‘universal’ – they apply to everyone.
Decades later one group is still denied humanity and rights; here in the UK we even go so far as to label their very existence unlawful. Illegal migrants, bogus asylum seekers. The phrasing is used in the British press (broadsheets, tabloids and broadcasters alike) and by politicians and civil servants. This language matters, and it needs to be more seriously challenged.