Promoting Justice /
Protecting Rights

Equality

Equality is a basic human right and in many ways can be seen as underpinning all others.

For convenience we often use the phrase “human rights and equality,” but such is the concept’s fundamental character that we should say “human rights including equality” or perhaps “equality and all other human rights.” Why? Because the essence of human rights is that they are universal and apply to everyone by virtue of their simple humanity.

Equality related publications

Any breach of the equality principle therefore undermines the moral or normative basis of all human rights. Discrimination is an assault on human dignity and sense of belonging and self-worth; but it is also a breach of the very universality which is the basic characteristic of “human” rights.

Equality is also the basis of good relations between different groups. Good relations can only be built on respect and non-discrimination in a society that everyone agrees is basically fair.

To take the contrary position and promote good relations on the basis of the toleration of inequality is to simply argue for an acceptance of discrimination and possible repression. In a divided society this understanding of the overwhelming importance and primary position of equality is even more important. All these are reasons why CAJ takes equality very seriously indeed.

Gender Specific Work

CAJ continue to support the women’s movement to ensure the full and equal participation of women in public and political life as committed to in the Good Friday/ Belfast Agreement.

CAJ continue to respond to human rights treaty bodies that advance women’s equality such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on the Rights of Persons With a Disability, Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and other United Nations Resolutions such as Security Council Resolution 1325 Women, Peace and Security.

CAJ have contributed to gender specific work through working with the Women’s Policy Group to advance a Gender Equality Strategy for NI. CAJ supported the Women’s Manifesto for the NI Assembly elections in 2016. CAJ also made submissions to the Department for the Environment on women’s inclusion in community planning at a local government level in 2015. CAJ provided expert advice to the Legacy Gender Integration Group on the design of the Gender Principles for the Dealing with the Legacy of the Past 2015 and inclusion of a gender balance with regards to the setting up of any institutions for dealing with the legacy of the past in NI through the Stormont House Agreement Model Bill.

CAJ also made written submissions to the Westminster Associate Party Parliamentary Group’s call for evidence into the application of UNSCR 1325 to Northern Ireland in 2011 and 2013.

CAJ continue to work on equality of opportunity of women including all of their multiple identities through the Equality Coalition and its broader membership.

CAJ have taken a position on reproductive rights for women supporting both the decriminalisation of terminations and the liberalisation of abortion law in Northern Ireland.

Latest press releases and publications

27
Jul

CAJ calls for Equality of Citizenship after Brexit

Press Statement Date:  27th July 2017 CAJ calls for Equality of Citizenship after Brexit The Belfast Good Friday Agreement recognised it as the birthright of people born in Northern Ireland to identify as Irish or British or both and accordingly to hold British or Irish citizenship or both. This is a fundamental part of the...
17
Jul

S466 Submission to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) Consultation on the Draft Equality Action Plan 2017-18

s466-CAJ-submission-to-PPS-Equality-Action-Plan-2017 CAJ welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft Equality Action Plan 2017-2018, which is being consulted upon by the PPS alongside a draft revised Equality Scheme and disability action plan between April and July 2017. The Equality Coalition, which CAJ co-convenes with UNISON, has made a collective submission to the consultation on the revised...
24
May

S464 Request to Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) for a ‘Paragraph 11’ Investigation into the Department of Communities

Request to Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) for a ‘Paragraph 11’ Investigation into the Department of Communities (DfC) into multiple failures to comply with Equality Scheme in relation to the Community Halls Pilot Programme (S464) This is a request to the Equality Commission to use its paragraph 11 powers under Schedule 9 of the...
24
May

S463 Submission to ECRI on draft revised General Policy Recommendation No. 2

Submission to the Council of Europe European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) on draft revised General Policy Recommendation (GPR) No. 2 on Specialised bodies to combat racism and intolerance at national level (S463). The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) is an independent human rights NGO with cross community membership in Northern Ireland...
15
Mar

S461 How many of the current negotiation issues could be dealt with by the NI Bill of Rights?

CAJ Discussion Note March 2017 Next year will mark 20 years since the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA) mandated an ECHR+1 Bill of Rights to reflect the ‘particular circumstances of Northern Ireland’ and 10 years since the Human Rights Commission delivered is final GFA-mandated advice as to its content. The NI Bill of Rights remains one...
31
Aug

UN anti-racism committee releases report on UK

CAJ welcomes the release of the Concluding Observations on the UK by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). This follows an oral hearing in Geneva earlier this month to which CAJ submitted written evidence. The Committee measures State Parties compliance with the treaty-based commitments that they have agreed to be bound...

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