Our Mission:

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission champions and guards the rights of all those who live in Northern Ireland.

The Principles that Underpin Our Work:

We promote and abide by the following core principles:

Building a Culture of Human Rights: A goal of human rights is to establish a society that embeds such rights at its heart. A culture of human rights is one where human rights values demonstrably guide society. The Commission is committed to fostering this culture in Northern Ireland. In doing so, it recognises the challenges presented in a society moving forward that has experienced a protracted and tragic conflict and where community divisions can run deep.

Legality and Independence: The Commission operates on the basis of international human rights law, in compliance with a statutory mandate and independently of the State. The Commission works for the promotion and protection of those human rights to which the United Kingdom is legally committed at the national, regional and international levels, and does so on the basis of the mandate conferred on it by law and in conformity with the UN Paris Principles.

Non-Discrimination and Equality: Human rights require that they can be enjoyed by everyone on the basis of non-discrimination and equality, a principle that is reinforced in Northern Ireland by the provisions of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. The Commission honours this principle, above all, by protecting the most powerless in society addressing the needs of vulnerable individuals and those who are marginalised.

The Equal Status of Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Human rights, as recognised in the international treaties, have equal value and status and must be implemented in an integrated manner. The Commission respects this principle in its work and promotes full implementation in all engagements with the State and other partners.

Participation: Meaningful enjoyment of human rights must be based on the participation by those affected in any processes that may impact on their well-being. The Commission is committed to involving rights-holders in all relevant areas of its activities and it strives to promote broader participation across society.

Accountability: Accountability is central to human rights enforcement so decision making must be transparent. The Commission honours this requirement in its own actions. It demands similar standards in public life and calls to account all those with responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights. The Commission promotes human rights compliant independent oversight and accountability mechanisms.

Partnership: The promotion and protection of human rights needs the commitment of all who live in Northern Ireland, mindful that rights are balanced with responsibilities. It requires the engagement of government (central, regional and local) elected representatives, statutory bodies and civil society. As a Paris Principles ‘A’ Status NHRI, the Commission plays a pivotal role in building and sustaining the necessary partnerships. The Commission recognises the importance of its partnerships with the other UN-accredited human rights institutions in developing human rights values.