Northern Ireland: Amnesty presses 'send' on bill of rights campaign

Amnesty International has thrown its weight behind a new online campaign for a strong Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

Laura Plummer, an Amnesty International member from Downpatrick, today helped kick-start a web-based campaign which the group is promoting to its 3,000 members in Northern Ireland.

The campaign, for an effective Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland is coordinated by the Human Rights Consortium, a coalition of more than 140 community and voluntary groups, trade unions and NGOs, including Amnesty. The online campaign is expected to reach hundreds of thousands of people across Northern Ireland over the coming months and will send a message of support for the Bill of Right to Secretary of State Shaun Woodward who recently launched a public consultation on the issue.

Amnesty International has been campaigning for a strong Northern Ireland Bill of Rights for the last ten years. Laura Plummer, a member of Amnesty’s Mid-Down Group, said:

“It is crucial the people of Northern Ireland have their voice heard during the consultation period on a Bill of Rights. We think Northern Ireland should get a strong Bill of Rights that protects everyone and we hope this campaign will encourage lots of people to have their say.”

“Amnesty works to promote human rights all over the world and we are lending our support to this campaign for rights for everyone here in Northern Ireland too. We hope people will add their name to the petition on the campaign website, www.BillOfRightsNI.org. This way, everyone gets the opportunity to clearly tell the government to ‘MAKE OUR BILL OF RIGHTS STRONG.”

Campaigners want a Bill of Rights, proposed in the 1998 Agreement, which contains social and economic protections, such as rights to housing, work and healthcare, as well as rights directly related to Northern Ireland's experience of conflict and division.

The public consultation on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland will run until March 1, 2010.

Join Laura and sign up to the campaign now at billofrightsni.org

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