International Conference Will Share Local Human Rights Approach

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10 May 2016

Ombudsmen and Complaints Handling practitioners from around the world will be in Belfast later this month to attend ‘Human Rights – A 21st Century Approach to the Work of Ombudsmen’, an international conference to be jointly hosted by the office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC).

The event will focus on sharing the features and benefits of an innovative manual which has been developed locally by the NIPSO and NIHRC and endorsed by the United Nations. In the increasingly complex and challenging environment of complaints handling, the manual has been developed to support the work of Ombudsmen and others working in the field by providing a step-by-step template for the clear application of the rights of the individual in the complaint investigative process. This collaborative project was funded by the International Ombudsman Institute who are also supporting the conference, their first ever to be held in Northern Ireland.

Commenting in advance of the Conference Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman, who will be a keynote speaker at the event said:

Ombudsmen throughout the world perform a crucial human rights function. At a time in Europe when our complacency about the strength of fundamental values in many member states is being challenged and where elsewhere in the world the rights of so many are being daily violated, this is a fitting time for the Ombudsman community to reflect on our role and potential. I look forward to contributing.”

Marie Anderson, the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman said :

“The publication of our Human Rights Based Approach manual is the culmination of three years of ground breaking work and this conference provides us with an important opportunity to put the innovative work undertaken by the NIPSO and the NIHRC firmly on the global Complaints Handling map. Our ability to attract such a high profile international audience to the Conference is testament to the importance of our approach and the supporting manual.”

Les Allamby, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Chief Commissioner added :

The endorsement of this project and the supporting materials by the United Nations, clearly demonstrates that we have something very important to share with the Ombudsman and Complaints Handling community worldwide. We look forward to sharing our learning and experience with international delegates as well as local bodies and practitioners working in the Complaints Handling and Regulatory fields.

For further information please contact Lorraine Hamill on 028902 43987.

Note to Editors

  1. Register for the Conference Here
  2. The ‘Human Rights – A 21st Century Approach to the Work of Ombudsmen’ conference will take place at the Stormont Hotel from 25th to 27th May.
  3. Pictured L-R NI Human Rights Chief Commissioner Les Allamby and NI Public Services Ombudsman Marie Anderson look forward to hosting the international conference ‘Human Rights – A 21st Century Approach to the Work of Ombudsmen’ at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast from 25th to 27th May 2016. Delegates will include international Ombudsmen, Human Rights Commissioners, senior Complaints Handling officials in local Public Service organisations and Regulatory bodies.


10 May 2016