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Human Rights Commission in community engagement visit to Mid-Ulster

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Human Rights Commission in community engagement visit to Mid-Ulster

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has visited the Mid-Ulster area as part of their ongoing community engagement.

Commissioners paid a visit to Superstars Café in Cookstown to see first-hand the important work being done by the charity.

The delegation met with STEP NI and a number of other community organisations to hear about issues that are important to them.

The NIHRC also spoke with representatives from the local PSNI in the area, and with the Mid Ulster Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.

Chief Commissioner Les Allamby said:

“It was great to meet so many groups and representatives for Mid-Ulster. We heard a wide range of issues during our visit, including the need to improve provision for adults with learning disabilities, access to interpreting services in local GP practices and substandard housing conditions in the private rented sector and the adverse impact of social security reform locally.”

“It is vital to the work of the Commission to hear from the public about the human rights issues that are affecting their day to day life, it helps us plan what issue we need to prioritise and look out for. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to meet with us.”

STEP NI Chief Executive, Bernadette McAliskey said:

“To paraphrase the wonderful Eleanor Roosevelt: Unless Human Rights begin and have meaning in the small places close to home where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination, they have little meaning anywhere. The opportunity to engage directly with the Human Rights Commission on the challenging issues at local level was greatly valued by STEP and the local community organisations supporting people at neighbourhood level to vindicate their rights and assert their human dignity. We have not lost sight of a Bill of Rights that would protect us all or the meaningful implementation of the Rural Equality Strategy.”

May McAvoy, CEO of Superstar Café said:

“It was a pleasure to have representatives from the NI Human Rights Commission come to visit Superstars and extremely satisfying to have the opportunity to speak about our work to a wider community.”

“People with learning difficulties have a right to equal opportunities and lifestyle choices. This may be in training, in work, in leisure activities- in all aspects of life! This is a basic Human Right afforded to the non-disabled! To expect nothing less for all is frankly, discrimination at its worst.”


For further information, please contact Claire Martin on: claire.martin@nihrc.org or (028) 90269760 or 0771 7731873.

Notes to editors

1. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.

2. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission visited Cookstown and Dungannon areas on Thursday 4 July and met local political, policing and community representatives. The Commission visited the PSNI, Cookstown station, Superstars Café, STEP and community groups. The Commission presented to Mid Ulster Council’s Policy & Resources Committee.

3. The Commission’s Advice clinic

The Commission operates an advice clinic every Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 1pm. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss your case please call 028 90243987.

If you are unable to telephone us and would like to make an appointment please email us at info@nihrc.org.

If we are unable to take up your case, we will try to refer you to a more appropriate agency.

22 Jul 2019

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