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Read the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's Submission to the Department for Communities on its Budget 2023-24 Allocations

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  • Government
  • NI Assembly

Consultation response: Submission to the Department for Communities on its Budget 2023-24 Allocations

Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2023

Date produced July 2023.

Below is a summary of our recommendations and messages.

You can also download the full document through the links provided.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission recommends that:

  • the Department for Communities conducts a human rights based, cumulative impact assessment of the range of intended measures, and demonstrates that every effort has been made to use all resources that are at its disposal to satisfy, as a matter of priority, the minimum essential levels of each of the relevant rights in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR);
  • the Department for Communities prioritise taking effective steps to ensure that social security is adequate, accessible and promptly available across NI, and the maximum available resources are used to guarantee an adequate standard of living to all recipients;
  • the Department for Communities prioritises the Discretionary Support Grants scheme to ensure resources adequately meet need and ensure compliance with international human rights obligations, particularly Article 3 and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • the Department for Communities takes targeted measures to ensure the impact of the delayed introduction of New Welfare Mitigations does not have a sustained impact on the right to an adequate standard of living for vulnerable individuals and groups, in particular women, carers, people with dependents, people with disabilities, and children;
  • that the Department for Communities maintains targeted programmes that ensure access to, retention of and advancement in the labour market, particularly for people with disabilities, young people, women, migrants, older people and those living in rural areas;
  • the Department for Communities takes all appropriate measures to sustain resources in third sector organisations and safeguard the effective provision of support and advice on social security, employment, and housing to those who require it most;
  • the Department for Communities maintains and prioritises adequate funding to the housing sector and takes appropriate mitigating measures to address waiting lists and prevent homelessness. Particular consideration must be afforded to those living in unfavourable conditions in NI, in accordance with Article 11 of ICESCR and Article 8 of ECHR.