Human Rights: Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 24th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the section of the Belfast Agreement 1998 entitled Human Rights, in the subsection Comparable Steps by the Irish Government, what is their interpretation of the meaning of the statement that that government will bring forward measures to ensure "at least an equivalent level of protection of human rights as will pertain in Northern Ireland"; how that commitment is monitored; and what changes the government of the Republic of Ireland reported to them as a result of that commitment.

Photo of Lord Dunlop Lord Dunlop The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

The Belfast Agreement commits the Irish Government to ensuring an equivalent level of protection for human rights in Ireland to that established in Northern Ireland by the Agreement. As a result of this commitment, the Irish Government established the Irish Human Rights Commission, which in November 2014 merged with the Equality Authority to form the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. The UK and Irish Governments meet regularly both at ministerial and official level to discuss issues of mutual interest and concerns including matters relating to the implementation of the Belfast Agreement in each jurisdiction. These include matters relating to human rights in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

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