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Human rights and equality bodies provide Brexit evidence to NI Assembly

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Human rights and equality bodies provide Brexit evidence to NI Assembly

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission will join the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland to give oral evidence to the Committee for the Executive Office on Wednesday.

The session, which will focus on issues around Brexit, will see the three Commissions present evidence on Article 2 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby, stated:

“The engagement today with the Assembly Committee is timely as negotiations continue between the EU and UK government to determine our future relationship. With or without a deal, the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission will have new powers to monitor, advise, enforce and report on the impacts of Brexit on human rights and equality in Northern Ireland. We will also work closely with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to address issues affecting the whole island.”

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) Chief Commissioner, Sinéad Gibney, stated:

It has been a tumultuous time since our last meeting with Assembly Members in October, but a vitally important one in the framing of the post Brexit relationship, and the associated protection of human rights and equality. There are significant issues which on an all-island basis we need to be mindful of as the relationship evolves between
the UK and the EU.

“When the dust settles on 2020, we need to be in a position to ensure and reassure people that they can be aware of, secure information on and if necessary be able to vindicate their rights and protect themselves against discrimination.”

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) Chief Commissioner, Geraldine McGahey OBE, stated:

“We welcomed the opportunity today to brief Committee members on our preparations for overseeing the Government’s commitment that there will be no reduction in certain equality and human rights as we leave the European Union. We recognise the very real concerns about our equality and rights protections in the new post Brexit environment and we have a critical role in ensuring that Government is held to this commitment. I assured the Committee that we will do this with vigour and purpose.”

ENDS


16 Dec 2020

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