Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission expresses concern over human rights in NI
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission will today publish its Annual Human Rights Statement 2022, analysing human rights developments in Northern Ireland throughout the year.
The report will be launched at Stormont by Gary Lightbody, musician and founder of the Lightbody Foundation, and is hosted by Alex Maskey, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Commission’s annual statement assesses how the NI Executive, relevant public authorities and the UK Government have taken action over the past 12 months to address ongoing or potential abuses of human rights. This year’s report shows significant areas of concern which have been amplified by the cost-of-living crisis and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Alyson Kilpatrick, stated:
“This year has been another challenging year for human rights in Northern Ireland as we are trying to recover from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and facing a cost-of-living crisis, that will no doubt hurt most the people who are at greater risk.
“Our detailed assessment of rights’ protection across Northern Ireland demonstrates even more areas for concern this year. That is on top of what we see as a threatened rollback of human rights contained in, for example, the proposed Bill of Rights (to replace the Human Rights Act), and the Troubles ‘Legacy’ Bill, both of which are of grave concern. We fear, not least, that they will establish a hierarchy of rights and rights-holders – the antithesis of universal human rights.
“This annual statement is published at a time when there is no devolved government, which is likely to exacerbate the concerns we have highlighted. At the very least, it is likely to slow down any response to the recommendations. The issues are profound and include: NHS waiting lists; a range of children’s rights issues such as the right to be free from child sexual exploitation; homelessness and poverty; and inadequate living conditions for people seeking asylum.
“It is not enough to have a body of laws if they are not enforced. It is not enough to speak the language of human rights if we do not convert that into positive action. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that these issues are dealt with.”
Notes to Editors
Interview opportunity with Alyson Kilpatrick, Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
Press contact to arrange interview:
Conor Boyle: 07795640237
For other queries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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