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Northern Ireland: Amnesty urges new Secretary of State to agree ‘Troubles’ legacy mechanisms and EU migrant rights

Dealing with the past, EU migrant rights and border concerns should be priorities for new Secretary of State

Amnesty International has written to the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, calling for action on dealing with the past and for the protection of the rights of European Union migrants and their family members in the region. The organisation has also called for the Northern Ireland Executive to be fully involved in negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU.

As the new Secretary of State takes office, Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, said:

“James Brokenshire inherits a desk stacked high with human rights issues to be addressed.

“Top of his in-tray must be agreement on new mechanisms to deal with the legacy of unresolved human rights violations from the Troubles. Victims on all sides have been failed for too long by a piecemeal approach to the past. The Historic Investigations Unit and the other institutions proposed in the Stormont House Agreement back in 2014, as well as the Lord Chief Justice’s plan for legacy inquests, must be delivered and properly financed without further delay.

“On Brexit, the Secretary of State must ensure that the Northern Ireland Executive is fully involved in negotiations and must address concerns on the movement of people across the border or between Ireland and Britain. He should move quickly to reassure EU migrants and their families in Northern Ireland that their future here is secure and that they won’t be used as bargaining chips.

“We have also written to the new Secretary of State to highlight his role in ensuring that refugees are welcomed in Northern Ireland, that the UK meets its international human rights standards on access to abortion and in protecting the Human Rights Act, which has helped so many people here. We hope to have an early meeting with the Minister to address these matters.”

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