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Government’s failure to implement Bill of Rights undermines the Good Friday Agreement

21 February, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Today the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee of the Oireachtas heard from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Consortium of the failures of the Irish and British Governments to implement the key human rights obligations of the Good Friday Agreement.
Speaking at the meeting Paul Maskey MP said:
“This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, an agreement that endorsed by the vast majority of the people on this island. The people voted for a Bill of Rights for the North and an All-Ireland Charter of Rights. Despite this democratic demand both governments have failed to implement this obligation and this continues to undermine the agreement. A Bill of Rights for the North would be an opportunity to establish fundamental rights for all in our society.’
Sean Crowe TD added:
“It is becoming apparent that this government is neither engaged with the North nor aware of their obligations under the Agreement. As a signatory and joint guarantor to the agreement, the Irish Government needs to act urgently to fully implement the Agreement. There is widespread concern with the government’s failure to establish a Bill of Rights in the North and an all-Ireland Charter of Rights.
“Recently the Irish Government sought to undermine further the provisions of the agreement with regard to former political prisoners and the proposed amalgamation of the Human Rights and Equality Commission. The action, and lack of action, by the Irish Government is at odds with their responsibility as guarantor of the Agreement.”

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