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Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission supports Belfast Pride 2022

22 Jul 2022

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is delighted to support Belfast Pride 2022.

Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick will be participating in Pride Talks Back – Policy Focus on Monday 25 July. The event will allow questions and discussion with the public around the issues affecting the LGBTQI+ community.

This year’s Pride festival runs from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 31st July with Pride Day on Saturday 30th July.

NIHRC Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick commented:

“The Commission is delighted to support Pride 2022 and all those who will be participating in what is a wonderful series of events. During Pride we can set time aside to welcome progress and celebrate achievements in strengthening human rights and equality for LGBTQI+ persons. We must also recognise that there is more to be done. We must achieve further progress in rights protection and support those who are striving for equality on a daily basis. So many people still have to realise full human rights protection. Until they do, nobody should rest. I am particularly looking forward to Pride Talks Back for which I am privileged to have been asked to sit on a discussion panel.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Jason McKeown on: (028) 9026 9769 or by email on jason.mckeown@nihrc.org

Notes to Editors

  • 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.
  • This year’s Pride festival runs from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 31st July with Pride Day on Saturday 30th July.
  • Pride Talks Back - Policy Focus is being held in Common Market, Dunbar Link from 19.00 – 21.00 on Monday 25 July 2022. You can register to attend here. NI Human Rights Commission Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick will be part of the panel alongside the Equality Commission, PSNI and other guests TBC. It will be chaired by TalkBack’s William Crawley.
  • Each year the Commission releases its Annual Statement highlighting the progress, or lack of, regarding human rights issues affecting Northern Ireland. We use a traffic light system to measure what progress has been made. You can view our 2021 Annual Statement here.
  • Annual Statement Red Issues

Issues marked as a red mean it is a subject “that requires immediate action by the UK Government, NI Executive or relevant public authorities where the issue may be an ongoing violation or abuse of human rights within NI. Below are issues marked as red.

  • Conversion therapy

The Commission is concerned that conversion therapy in many forms persists. It is compatible with domestic and international human rights law, which upholds the innate and equal value of all human beings. The Commission recommends that the Dept of Justice, working with other departments, introduces legislation to ban all practices of conversion therapy by any person or group of persons. The most effective way to protect the human rights of children and adults and ensuring the best interests of the child principle remains a primary consideration to prohibit all such practices in all circumstances.

  • Relationships, sexuality and gender identity education

Commission recognises that the NI Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 creates a statutory duty on the Secretary of State to provide for age appropriate, scientifically accurate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights as a compulsory component of the curriculum for adolescents covering the prevention of early pregnancy and access to terminations.

Commission recommends that concrete steps are taken by the Dept of Education and other relevant public authorities to fully implement these obligations in line with the UN CEDAW Committee’s recommendations.

  • Annual Statement Amber Issues

Issues marked as an amber identifies a subject that requires action by the UK Government, NI Executive or relevant public authorities but it is not at a level that constitutes an ongoing violation or abuse of human rights. Amber mean initial steps have already been taken or been acknowledged as necessary by the relevant body. The necessary action has not yet been completed. Some amber issues have been highlighted below.

  • Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation

The Commission recommends the Dept for Communities introduce the LGBTQI+ Strategy without delay and that the gender recognition process in NI is amended to reflect the self-declaration model. The Commission further recommends that the gender recognition is affordable respectful and accessible including effectively training staff. The Commission also recommends that the application fee for a gender recognition certificate is lowered, in line with England and Wales.

Commission recommends transgender children are effectively supported and that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration.

  • Gender recognition

NIHRC continues to call on the Dpt for Communities to promptly publish and implement a robust Gender Equality Strategy that reflects gender-specific elements.

  • Hate Crime

The Commission recommends that the Department of Justice promptly and effectively implements the recommendations of the Independent Hate Crime Review Team.

  • Intersectional multiple discrimination

The Commission recommends that the Executive Office introduce legislation providing for intersectional multiple discrimination claims in NI.

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