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While our office is closed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the NI Human Rights Commission is still working as normal.

You can still contact us with any queries you may have about human rights issues.

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Human Rights Commission Welcomes New Executive

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Human Rights Commission Welcomes New Executive

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission welcomes the restoration of the NI Executive and looks forward to working with the new appointments over the coming months on the outstanding issues affecting human rights in Northern Ireland.

On the New Decade, New Approach, we welcome the acknowledged importance “of promoting and protecting the rights and identity of individuals” and the agreement “that the Executive should seek to build a society that reflects the best international standards of human rights.”

We are gratified to see a number of important issues of economic and social rights raised within the Commission’s annual statement featured prominently in the document including childcare, a renewed mitigations package and an anti-poverty strategy. We also welcome the proposals to establish an Ad-Hoc Assembly Committee to consider the creation of a Bill of Rights.

The confirmed “importance of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission” and our remit is also welcomed.

We are now considering the content of the New Decade, New Approach document carefully and its implications for the protection and promotion of human rights.

Notes to Editors

1. The NI Executive was restored on 11 January 2020.

2. The New Decade, New Approach Deal was published on 9 January 2020.

3. In December 2019 the Commission released its Annual Statement, a report assessing the state of human rights in Northern Ireland, which is published each year. You can read the full document here.

4. The 2019 Annual Statement sets out - ‘red light’ issues that require immediate action by the UK Government, NI Executive, or relevant public authorities. A red category highlights that the issue may be an ongoing violation or abuse of human rights within NI. The ‘red light’ issues are as follows:

Right to Life

Pg. 26 - Conflict related investigations: transitional justice and individual cases

Pg. 29 - Legacy inquests and inquiries

Right to liberty and security of person

Pg. 31 - The remand of children

Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment

Pg. 32 - Physical punishment of children

Freedom from slavery

Pg. 33 - Child, early and forced marriage

Pg. 34 - Children missing from care

Pg. 35 - Child sexual exploitation

Right to fair trial and the administration of justice

Pg. 36 - Age of criminal responsibility

Pg. 37 - Compensation for a miscarriage of justice

Right to private and family life

Pg. 38 - Access to financial support for unmarried couples

Right to an adequate standard of living and to social security

Pg. 39 - Anti-poverty strategy

Right to health

Pg. 40 - Termination of pregnancy

Pg. 43 - Relationship, sexuality and gender identity education

13 Jan 2020

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