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Sinn Féin meet UN Special Rapporteur

12 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Human Rights and Equality Spokesperson Martina Anderson MLA speaking after meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human rights Asma Jahangin, who is on a two-day visit in the North, has said that despite political progress that we still need to tackle disadvantage and inequality.

Ms Anderson said:

"In the North we have found ways in the Good Friday Agreement and at St Andrews to move forward whilst recognising the reality that all of us are not standing on a level playing field. But we could be - with very little effort.

"The questions we have asked her to raise are about why doesn't existing spending effectively tackle existing levels of disadvantage and inequality?"

Martina explained to her that unless the core spending of government is required to do so in a measurable and accountable way - disadvantage and inequality would continue to worsen.

Ms Anderson continues:

"No pound spent in the North is neutral. It can either replicate inequality and disadvantage - or change it.

"Recommendations from the UN Special Rapporteur would be most helpful with our tasks of ensuring opportunities were taken to bring people from across communal divides together to tackle shared disadvantage, shared inequality and shared alienation as well as addressing unacceptable levels of religious inequality in the labour market, housing and education and health sectors." ENDS

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