Rebecca and her friends are animal rights’ activists and regularly demonstrate outside a laboratory that conducts experiments on animals. One day the staff working there feel threatened by the nature of Rebecca’s protest outside: she is shouting “Hell to those who engage in vivisection!” via a loudspeaker. The staff call the police. The police arrive and tell Rebecca that she is being stopped and searched. Nothing is found on Rebecca to suggest that she possesses anything illegal but she and her friends are still arrested. They are held for several weeks without seeing a lawyer. In this time Rebecca’s captors regularly verbally abuse her and her friends. She is also made to cook the meals for all the captors and clean up after them

Answer both parts of the question

Part 1 (40%) (Maximum 750 words)

Rebecca and her friends are animal rights’ activists and regularly demonstrate outside a laboratory that conducts experiments on animals. One day the staff working there feel threatened by the nature of Rebecca’s protest outside: she is shouting “Hell to those who engage in vivisection!” via a loudspeaker. The staff call the police.

The police arrive and tell Rebecca that she is being stopped and searched. Nothing is found on Rebecca to suggest that she possesses anything illegal but she and her friends are still arrested. They are held for several weeks without seeing a lawyer. In this time Rebecca’s captors regularly verbally abuse her and her friends. She is also made to cook the meals for all the captors and clean up after them.

Rebecca is eventually released. She is charged with violating the Suppression of Public Protest Act 2015 which became law only during the period of her detention. When Rebecca arrives home, she finds that the state has entered her flat and taken away anything they think might be useful in evidence against her.

The state has also organised Rebecca’s dismissal from work. When she tries to claim social security, as she is now unemployed, this is refused. Her son, Simon, is excluded from school because of his mother’s political associations. Simon is also denied medical treatment for his diabetes which worsened during the period of his mother’s detention.

  • i)  Advise Rebecca which human rights may been infringed. (Please note: the state Rebecca lives in is fictitious so there is no need to confine your answer to a particular regional human rights document, if at all, but you must give authority for the human rights you identify.)
  • ii)  Once you have identified the rights in question i) above, place them in rank of importance (starting with the most important). This can either be in accordance with accepted human rights standards or in your own opinion. But whichever approach you adopt you must give reasons for your answer.

Part 2 (60%) (Maximum 1250 words)

‘Freedom from slavery is a fundamental human right that is outlawed in several international and regional human rights’ documents, such as Article 8 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). But recent estimates such as those by Walk Free’s Global Slavery Index 2014 suggest that about 30 million people worldwide are held in some form of forced labour. Human rights attempts to prevent slavery have, therefore, failed.’

Explain this statement and discuss whether you agree with it or not.

 

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