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De Brún - Criticism Of Human Rights Commission cannot be dismissed

22 September, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Human Rights and Equality Bairbre de Brún has accused the Alliance party of being blind to the fact that 'a serious crisis of public confidence exists regarding the performance of the Human Rights Commission at this time'. Ms de Brún made her remarks after the Alliance party accused the Comptrollers of City of New York and New York state of being 'misinformed' after they complained to the two governments about the direction the Commission was taking regarding Fair Employment practices.

Ms de Brún said:

" Last week the Comptrollers of City of New York and New York State added their voices to a growing list of groups and individuals raising concerns about the direction being taken by the Human Rights Commission. Their complaints related in the main to concerns that the Human Rights Commission is in danger of undermining existing fair employment legislation.

" These are widely held concerns and the Comptrollers have indicated that future investment could in fact be put at risk. This was a helpful intervention and one which cannot be dismissed as lightly as Stephen Farry is attempting.

" It is now widely acknowledged that the Human rights Commission is in serious difficulty and requires a programme of reconstruction in order to restore public confidence in this key mechanism of the Good Friday Agreement. Our concern in all of this is to ensure that we see an independent and effective Human Rights Commission established and delivering for all of the people." ENDS

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