Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Government must deliver Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland

The original Good Friday Agreement of 1998
The original Good Friday Agreement of 1998
Good Friday Agreement. 'Yes' celebration. John Hume (SDLP), Bono (U2), David Trimble (UUP) and Tim Wheeler (Ash). 19/5/1998
Peacemakers: David Trimble, John Hume and Bono at a concert to promote the Good Friday Agreement

Fifteen years ago today, the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement was overwhelmingly approved by a referendum of the people.

It heralded the beginning of the end to conflict and a start to a new society in Northern Ireland.

There have been many positive developments since that day, but the full promise of the agreement has yet to be delivered.

As with many societies emerging from conflict, a Bill of Rights was part of Northern Ireland's peace agreement.

This Bill of Rights was intended, via Westminster legislation, to help secure the peace by protecting the rights of everyone.

As events in Northern Ireland continue to show, the need to build a just and peaceful society is as important as ever.

Fifteen years on, the UK Government has still not fully implemented the agreement. It has still not legislated for the Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

We call on the UK Government to secure the peace, deliver on its agreement commitments and legislate for a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights.

Age NI

Amnesty International

Children’s Law Centre

Committee on the Administration of Justice

Disability Action

Disabled Police Officers Association

Human Rights Consortium

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

National Union of Students-Union of Students in Ireland

North-West Community Network

Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities

Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance

Relatives For Justice

Rural Community Network

Save the Children

UNISON

Unite the Union

WAVE Trauma Centre

Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland

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