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Human Rights Awareness Raised at Loreto Grammar School

22 Nov 2019

Human Rights Awareness Raised at Loreto Grammar School

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has visited the Loreto Grammar School as part of its ongoing educational outreach.

The NIHRC spoke to A-Level students about the role of the NIHRC in promoting and protecting human rights in Northern Ireland and how their right not to suffer inhuman and degrading treatment is protected in law.

The Year 14 students also heard from NIHRC representatives who explained the government’s obligations to take measures to prevent violence against women, protect its victims, and prosecute the perpetrators. It reflects great credit on the school and its students that there is such an interest in rights and domestic violence. The NIHRC then highlighted how it monitors and reports on how well the government is fulfilling its human rights obligations in order to ensure that women and girls receive the highest level of protection in Northern Ireland.

Pupils at the Omagh school were shown a powerful video on the impact of domestic violence that the NIHRC had made in partnership with Women’s Aid.

Principal of Loreto Grammar School, Gráinne O’Hanlon said:
Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby, commented:

“Threatening or inappropriate behaviours from one person to another is unacceptable either in the home or outside. We wanted the girls to understand that, to know what to do if they felt comprised in any relationship and to ensure that they too would not be guilty of such behaviours. Situations such as domestic abuse can be complex and it takes courage to talk about it and deal with it. Annually we invite Women’s Aid to the school to discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships with Post 16 students. It is excellent that NIHRC have prioritised educational outreach as part of its plan to highlight this important topic.”

“We would like to thank staff and pupils at Loreto Grammar School for allowing us to come out and speak to them about our work, as well as issues around a topic as important as domestic abuse. Our 2018 Annual Statement highlighted a number of ways in which domestic abuse should be tackled. It is an important function of the NIHRC to promote and raise awareness of human rights issues by engaging with the public. A vital part of this work is our educational outreach. I would like to wish the students well with the rest of their A-Level studies.”

Photo caption: NIHRC‘s Claire Martin and Jason McKeown with some of the Year 14 students at Loreto Grammar School.

Further information:

For further information please contact Claire Martin on: (028) 9024 3987 or by email on

Notes to Editors

1. The video on domestic abuse can be viewed here.

2. The Human Rights Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday video can be viewed here.

3. Your Human Rights:

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law. The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK in October 2000.

Article 3 of the Human Rights Act: Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment protects you from:

. torture (mental or physical)

. inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

4. The NI Human Rights Commission is a statutory public body established in 1999 to promote and protect human rights. In accordance with the Paris Principles the Commission reviews the adequacy and effectiveness of measures undertaken by the UK Government to promote and protect human rights, specifically within Northern Ireland (NI).

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