NI: Northern Ireland still has ‘some way to go’ on human rights

NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby
NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby

Northern Ireland made progress on human rights in 2016 but still has “some way to go”, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has said.

The NIHRC launched its 2016 Annual Statement in Belfast yesterday at an event addressed by Joseph Cannataci, the UN’s special rapporteur on privacy.

He spoke about Privacy, The Right to Silence and your Mobile Phone.

The NIHRC’s Annual Statement contains a traffic lights system, with different issues given a green, amber or red light.

Speaking ahead of the launch, NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby, said: “We are delighted to welcome the UN Special Rapporteur and his visit is especially timely. This year our Annual Statement charts some welcome progress in Northern Ireland.

“We have a given a green light to the extension on eligibility to donate blood and the publication of the racial equality strategy. However we clearly have some way to go to improve our laws, as highlighted by issuing a red light on termination of pregnancy and civil marriage for same sex couples.

“On international issues the NI Executive needs to do more to play its full role within the United Nations human rights system.

“On local issues, resources and commitment are needed to continue on dealing with the past.”

Mr Allamby added: “The Commission will continue to play its part to promote and protect everyone in Northern Ireland and in launching this report today we want the NI Executive to take stock of the content and start bringing about change.”

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