Welcome to the official website for the Equality Coalition. We are a broad civil society alliance of NGOs and trade unions that aim to promote equality in Northern Ireland. Read more about our work in the About Us section.
LATEST FROM THE EQUALITY COALITION
Upcoming event: Launch of ‘Sectarianism: The Key Facts’, a framework report on tackling institutional sectarianism in Northern Ireland
10.30am to 1pm, Wednesday 11 December 2019, UNISON, Galway House, Belfast
Commissioned by the Equality Coalition, independent researcher Dr Robbie McVeigh has authored a piece of research on contemporary sectarianism in Northern Ireland. The 40 page report looks at ‘institutional sectarianism’ in NI – especially where there is evidence of sectarianism in decision-making – and puts forwards recommendations for state action on sectarianism. Sectarianism: The Key Facts is being launched as part of this year’s Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival. The event will feature Dr McVeigh and a variety of other expert speakers. All welcome. Lunch will be provided at the event close. Please email email@example.com to register, stating any access or dietary requirements.
Defining Public Duties to Tackle Incitement to Hatred whilst Respecting Freedom of Expression: Reviewing the Legal & Policy Framework – Conference Report
Published October 2019
A one-day conference was held on 13 October 2017 to explore, from a human rights perspective, when public authorities can or must act against speech and cultural expression in order to protect the rights of others. The event was organised by the Equality Coalition, with support from the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. It was comprised of presentations, panel discussions and a series of afternoon workshops, all exploring different themes related to the legal framework (both local and international) on countering incitement to hatred.
From the proceedings of this conference, a comprehensive 90 page report has been published. Download it here.
In March 2019, the Equality Coalition, in partnership with BrexitLawNI, held a major conference on ‘Post-Brexit Citizenship Status: Divided by the Rules?’ in the Moot Court Room at Queen’s University Belfast. Featuring expert practioner and political panels, the conference explored how Brexit will transform the citizenship landscape in Northern Ireland and could lead to hardened entitlement boundaries between different groups of citizens here.
A 60 page report has been produced from the proceedings of the conference. You can download a digital version of the report here. Hard copies are available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 028 9031 6000.
Response to consultation on ECNI’s complaints and investigation procedures Published May 2019
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) has been reviewing and revising the procedures related to its enforcement (investigation) powers. These powers enable ECNI to investigate public bodies that fail to comply with their Section 75 duties. In March 2019, ECNI launched a public consultation on its (draft) ‘Revised Policy and Procedures for Complaints and Investigations’. The Equality Coalition responded to this consultation with a detailed written submission, which raises several issues that we strongly urge ECNI to rectify.
Submission available for download here.
Manifesto for a Rights Based Return to Power Sharing
Published April 2019
More than two years have elapsed since the devolved power sharing institutions provided for under the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) collapsed in Northern Ireland. Additionally, many of the rights based commitments of the peace settlement, including those originally designed as to act as safeguards on the NI Executive and Assembly, remain unimplemented or have been misimplemented. Fresh cross-party talks to restore power sharing have been announced for May 2019. However, there is little point in restoring the institutions only for them to fail to deliver and collapse again for the same reasons. Conscious of this, the Equality Coalition has developed a ‘Manifesto for a Rights Based Return to Power Sharing’.
Follow this link to download the manifesto. An Irish language version has also been published, with help from Conradh na Gaeilge. A larger font version in either language is available upon request – email email@example.com or call 028 9031 6000.
Independent researcher Dr Robbie McVeigh was commissioned by the Equality Coalition to explore incitement to hatred in the Northern Ireland context. There is copious evidence of hatred in NI – particularly racism, sectarianism and homophobia – which sometimes manifests itself in instances of ‘hate crime’. Moreover, there is ample evidence of incitement to hatred as it is characterised in international human rights standards. Dr McVeigh’s report examines the scale of the current problem, as well as how effectively it is being dealt with by public authorities and the justice system.
Download the report here.
Notwithstanding significant pockets of good practice, it has been a strategic concern of the Equality Coalition for some time that the Section 75 equality duty is being regularly flaunted by many public authorities. This report examines the current situation and makes recommendations to improve adherence to the statutory equality duties going forwards.