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Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission launches Human Trafficking and Article 2 research

01 Jun 2022

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has launched new research on Human Trafficking and Article 2 of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. NIHRC commissioned the research in light of the Nationality and Borders Bill, now Act, which introduces a number of provisions in relation to human trafficking which concerned the NIHRC.

The research was launched at an event in the Clayton Hotel in Belfast on 26 May. Report author, Alison Harvey, No. 5 Chambers, presented the finding of the research, which was opened by NIHRC Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick, and chaired by Professor Colin Harvey.

The research highlights issues in a number of areas. The Nationality and Borders Act disapplies domestic law deriving from the EU Trafficking Directive where it is incompatible with a provision of the Act. This potentially breaches Protocol Article 2.

This research is part of a wider body of research being published by NIHRC and Equality Commission for Northern Ireland as we work to identify what Protocol Article 2 means in practice and to use our mandate to protect rights effectively.

It has highlighted how the EU Trafficking Directive can be read into Protocol Article 2 using a number of different arguments, including victims’ rights provisions within the Good Friday Agreement, reading rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights into Article 2 and under equality of opportunity provisions.

You can read the full report here: Publication - Human Trafficking and Article 2 of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol | Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (

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