Demonstrate An Understanding Of Human Rights Legislation And Reflect On Its Implication For People With A Learning Disability. This Reflection Looks At Personal Relationships

1765 words - 7 pages

UK Citizens now have certain basic human rights which government and public authorities are legally obliged to respect. These became law as part of the Human Rights Act 1998. This Act 1998 gives legal effect in the UK to 16 of the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). These rights not only affect matters of life and death like freedom from torture and killing but also affect your rights in everyday life: what you can say and do, your beliefs, your right to a fair trial and many other similar basic entitlements. The rights are not absolute - governments have the power to limit or control them in times of severe need or emergency. There are also responsibilities to respect the rights of others - and not exercise yours in a way which is likely to stop them from being able to exercise theirs. (Human Rights Act, 1998)The evidence from the Estia seminar, suggests that some of the human rights legislation has not yet had much effect on the lives of people with a learning disability, especially in those whose learning disability is more severe (Annette, 2004). This reflection will focus on the issues surrounding personal relationships, three articles of The Human Rights Act (1998) relate to this: Article 3 - no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Article 8 - Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence; and Article 12 - Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right. (Human Rights Act, 1998)FeelingsAll human beings are sexual beings, sexuality is not an optional extra, and everyone has sexual needs, feelings and desires. People are entitled to express their sexuality in different ways, showing respect for self and others. People with a learning disability should be supported to make informed choices and be allowed the opportunities to exercise their rights and responsibilities in regards to sexual health and personal relationships, which are an integral part of their lives. It is clear through the rest of this reflection that these basic human rights are not being met, therefore it is hoped that the failure to provide opportunities for people with a learning disability will be the subject of legal challenge under the Human Rights Act. Government policy demands that services work towards inclusion for people with a learning disability, meaning that they should have positive, reciprocal relationships, be part of the community and enjoy ordinary life. I also believe that enabling people with a learning disability to enjoy a full range of relationships is one of the keys to empowerment. I understand the need to protect people who may be vulnerable, but I think there is a fine line between protection and avoidance, and at the moment the majority of staff are avoiding the issues surrounding...

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