Northern Ireland falling behind on equality

Trevor Lunn MLAAlliance Assembly candidate Trevor Lunn has criticised the lack of progress on equality issues.

Trevor Lunn said; “During the last term, the Assembly failed to fulfil its responsibilities on a range of equality issues, leaving Northern Ireland behind the rest of the UK.

“Alliance believes that a Single Equality Act should be a priority for the new Executive following next month’s election. The Act would harmonise existing equality and anti-discrimination measures and update and strengthen equality provisions. It would also revise fair employment monitoring to better reflect the diversity of the mixed and multiple identities that makes Northern Ireland such a vibrant society.

“Through inaction in the Office of the First and deputy First Minister, we have fallen behind in our protection of those from the LGBT community, while also failing on age discrimination legislation. While an updated racial equality strategy was finally published, we need to see legislation strengthened to protect newcomers who may be targeted or discriminated against. The introduction of the Equality Act (2010) in Great Britain means that in certain areas our legislation lags behind best practice.

“Alliance believes equality should be at the heart of the new programme for government, to show citizens from every community and background that they are valued and their rights will be protected.”