To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Republic of Ireland has established a Human Rights Commission with a mandate and remit equivalent to that within Northern Ireland as provided for by paragraph 9 of the chapter on rights, safeguards and equality of opportunity in the Belfast Agreement 1998.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what further active steps have been taken by the Republic of Ireland to demonstrate its respect for the different traditions in the island of Ireland since 10 April 1998, as provided for by paragraph 9 of the chapter on rights, safeguards and equality of opportunity in the Belfast Agreement 1998.
These questions are a matter for the Irish Government.
However, it is my understanding that: the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, like the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, is a UN ‘A status’ accredited National Human Rights Institution, structured and operated in accordance with the Paris Principles; that the Republic of Ireland ratified the Council of Europe Framework Convention on National Minorities in 1999; that the Republic of Ireland gave further effect to provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in domestic legislation through the European Convention of Human Rights Act 2003, and that since 1998 a number of pieces of legislation have been introduced in the Republic of Ireland including the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004.
The UK Government remains committed to reforming our domestic human rights framework. We will consider further the Bill of Rights once we know the arrangements for our EU exit and consult fully on our proposals in the full knowledge of the new constitutional landscape that will create. The UK has a proud tradition of respect for human rights which long pre-dates the Human Rights Act 1998.