UK NHRIs deliver statement to UN Human Rights Council in response to poverty report

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UK NHRIs deliver statement to UN Human Rights Council in response to poverty report

The three UK National Human Rights Institutions will today (Friday) respond to the final report published today by the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston, on extreme poverty and human rights in the UK.

In a joint video statement to the UN Human Rights Council, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, and the Scottish Human Rights Commission will voice their support for Professor Alston’s report and state that they share his concerns.

Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Les Allamby, will deliver the statement, which urges the UK Government to review its social security and spending policies to ensure the most significant impacts are not felt most by those they are designed to support.

Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Les Allamby, commented:

“The Special Rapporteur’s report is a further reminder that Northern Ireland remains an unequal society with both considerable wealth and poverty - highlighting the failings of the Government to protect economic and social rights. Poverty impacts on educational outcomes, physical and mental health, access to housing and other measures of well-being. Destitution and poverty affects significant numbers of people both in and out of work in Northern Ireland. No one should have to rely on a food bank in the 21st century. We welcome the opportunity to deliver a statement to the UN Human Rights Council, and will continue to work with the UN Special Rapporteur to hold the Government to account to meet its human obligations.”

The Special Rapporteur conducted a UK-wide official visit in November last year to investigate government efforts to eradicate poverty in the country.

Further information:

Please contact Zara Porter, NIHRC Communications & Public Affairs Officer, 0779 5640237 (mobile).

Notes to Editors:

1. Read the UN Special Rapporteurs report here

2. The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights is designated by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to monitor, report and advise on extreme poverty and its intersection with human rights. The UN Special Rapporteur, Professor Philip Alston, visited the UK from 5-16th November.

3. The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights is appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate and report on the relationship between human rights and poverty

4. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission submitted evidence to the UN Special Rapporteur in September 2018. The submission can be found here.

5. The UN Human Rights Council session is scheduled to take place on Friday afternoon, and will be streamed live here.


28 Jun 2019