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Report Highlights Need for Further Protection of Women's Rights in N.I

05 Jul 2013

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has made a number of recommendations to a United Nations Committee currently examining the UK’s record in tackling discrimination against women.
NIHRC Chief Commissioner’ Professor Michael O’Flaherty’ commented:
There are many issues affecting women’s rights in Northern Ireland that we have brought to the attention of the UN Committee. We recognise the multiple levels of discrimination faced by some women’ for example migrant women. We are concerned around the high levels of domestic violence and identify the introduction of specialist domestic courts as a key measure that should be progressed. We have also raised the need to step up efforts to tackle human trafficking and the exploitation of children’ including the trafficking of girls inside the UK who are in the care of the State.’
The Commission makes twenty two recommendations to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. For example’ these include for Government to ensure:

  •  greater provision of services to victims of trafficking within forthcoming legislation in Northern Ireland
  •  proactive affirmative measures are taken to effectively increase women’s participation in political’ judicial and public life
  •  a new small custodial facility for women prisoners at the earliest possible opportunity.

Professor O’Flaherty added:
‘There remains work to do’ and the purpose of this report is to highlight exactly how the UK Government and the N.I Executive can work together to improve the promotion and protection of women’s human rights in Northern Ireland.’
Further information:
For further information please contact Claire Martin on: (028) 9024 3987.
Notes to editors
1. The Northern Ireland 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). The Commission is one of the three ‘A’ status National Human Rights Institutions in the UK. As a National Human Rights Institution the NIHRC engages with and reports to the United Nations’ and Council of Europe’s treaty monitoring processes.
2. The United Nations Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) reviews the UK record every four years to measure its performance in implementing the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
3. Northern Ireland will be reviewed as part of the UK examination. The NIHRC will give evidence to the Committee on 15 July 2013. The Committee’s examination of the UK will take place at the United Nations offices in Geneva on 17 July 2013. The Committee will deliver its report and recommendations to the UK Government when the examination is complete. This report is anticipated in August 2013.
4. In its report’ the NIHRC provides updated information concerning nine key areas: equality legislation; violence against women; trafficking and exploitation of prostitution; participation in public and political life; employment; health; economic and social benefits; criminal justice; and multiple discrimination.
5. Access the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s full report to the Committee here:

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