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Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

May 2023

In this edition:

Race Law Reform / Consultation


There is an urgent need for legislative reform to strengthen the rights of individuals in Northern Ireland against racial discrimination and harassment and ensure the law meets best international standards.

Amelie Cummins with her parents

The Commission has highlighted five priority areas for change to the race equality laws:

  • Harmonise and expand the scope of racial grounds
  • Increase protection for individuals against racial discrimination and harassment by public bodies when carrying out their public functions
  • Introduce protections against combined discrimination
  • Ensure greater protection for employees against third party racial harassment
  • Expand the scope of positive action

Executive Office Consultation

The Executive Office is currently seeking your views on the Review of the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997, to ensure that we have new legislation that is fully fit for purpose. Closing date is 18 June 2023. We hope to see wide engagement with the consultation and encourage you to respond and support us in our calls for stronger protections against racial discrimination. For more information on our proposals see our race law reform webpage

Policy Officer Job Vacancies


The Equality Commission is currently recruiting two Policy Officers. The post holders will support the senior policy officer to develop, implement, disseminate and evaluate a comprehensive public policy and legislative development agenda for the Commission as well as contributing to the delivery of our corporate strategies, plans and policies.

Closing Date is Friday 12 May 2023. Further information, including detailed job requirements and application forms are available online at

Impact of Brexit: Research and Policy Recommendations


The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement has been significant in improving equality and human rights in Northern Ireland. However, twenty-five years on from this Agreement, there are concerns about the impact of Brexit on these rights.

Amelie Cummins with her parents

People here have fewer equality and human rights protections in some areas than their counterparts in Ireland and Great Britain. The Equality Commission for NI, the NI Human Rights Commission and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission are warning that this disparity will widen further if the UK Government does not act. As part of their joint responsibilities under the Windsor Framework the three Commissions have launched an independent research report, alongside their recommendations for action, looking at the impact of Brexit and the risk of widening gaps in rights across the island of Ireland. Read more

Enquiries to our advice line


Our Discrimination Advice Officers received 2,899 enquiries over the past year. The breakdown of these enquiries has remained consistent over the past five years. Over the last decade, complaints about possible disability discrimination have been the largest proportion of calls to the Commission’s help line, followed by complaints of alleged sex discrimination.


The enquiries received this year related to the following forms of discrimination:

  •  48.3% Disability
  •  20.81% Sex
  •  10.32% Race
  •  7.93% Religious belief/political opinion
  •  6.7% Age
  •  4.11% SENDO (Special Educational Needs and Disability Order)
  •  1.83% Sexual orientation

To speak to one of our advisors Tel: 028 90 500 600, Monday-Friday,10am-4pm. Further information about your equality rights is available online


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