The MME Council yesterday, 5 February 2021, submitted a response to the public consultation issued by the Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights (see our previous post and our video on this), calling on those drafting the Bill to move beyond the binary division of 'green versus orange' politics to ensure that the voices of others are heard in all their variety, multiplicity and fluidity.
The submitted response - available in full below - endorses the goal of creating a Bill which will stand as a guarantee of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for all in our society, whatever their background, and urges that this process be taken as an opportunity to build the values of diversity and inclusion into the fabric of the institutions shaping Northern Ireland’s political, economic and social life.
Drawing on some of the research that fed into the RPA Consortium's response to the 'Ethnic Disparities' consultation, the Council set out several areas policy makers should bear in mind when crafting a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights (NIBOR), including closing the gaps in health and other service provision experienced by migrant and minority ethnic communities; promoting greater representation of MME communities in public institutions and other organisations; promoting education for diversity; and addressing 'structural discrimination' in the judicial system.
The submission concludes: "Long known on the world stage for conflict, Northern Ireland can and should become a place of sanctuary which upholds the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all; embraces diversity and equality; and ensures that all, from the longest established to the most recent arrivals, including newcomers, refugees and asylum seekers, are treated with dignity and afforded the respect due to each of us, for all our differences."
Read the full report here:
6 February 2021