A general guide to the Human Rights Act, with information about your human rights and what you can do if someone doesn’t respect them.
Human rights are basic rights and freedoms which we all have. They cannot be taken away, although they can be restricted in certain circumstances.
In the UK, our human rights are protected by law. This law is called the Human Rights Act 1998.
These are organisations whose role is of a public nature. This includes:
This means an act or activity taken by a public authority which is not a service. A public authority carries out a public function when it performs its particular legal duties and powers. Examples of public functions are licensing, planning and enforcement of parking.
Public authorities can get private companies or voluntary organisations to carry out their public functions. So for example, a private company that run prisons and takes prisoners into custody would be considered a private company carrying out a public function.See our full list of legal terms.
This information was published in January 2020. We will revise it in 2022.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.