NICRE Submission To TEO Review of the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997

NICRE submission to TEO Race Relations Order Review


The former Executive Director of NICEM, Mr. Patrick Yu, preparing a Briefing Paper[1] on Formal Review of the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997 Motion:”That this Assembly calls on the First & Deputy First Minister to review the current Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 in view of the fact that the current law does not offer the same levels of protection as in other parts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, and also given the deficiencies in the Race Relations Order (amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.”[2] for Anna Lo MLA, Alliance who was the then Chair of the All Party Group on Ethnic Minority Community and the Motion was debated on 26th May 2009 with unanimously supported by all political parties in Northern Ireland.[3] The Motion was never implemented at the time when no sign of Single Equality Bill for Northern Ireland, not to mention The Single Equality Bill Panel was disappeared.

The Great Britain passed the Equality Act in 2010[4] in which we used to be ahead of GB in equality law. Now it is 2023 which is 23 years behind the equality law standards. In specific our Bills of Rights for Northern Ireland[5] was delivered by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and supported by voluntary and community sectors, trade unions, and human rights organisations. Therefore, we are rolled backward on human rights and equality standards.

The recent passed Windsor Framework Agreement on Brexit[6] in which The Northern Ireland Protocol was replaced. This affects all EU migrants whether it is UK or EU in the present as well as their future rights under EU law.

Northern Ireland Council for Racial Equality is an independent and membership base organization representing the interests of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME)[7]. We welcome The Executive Office put out the consultation document on the Review of Race Relations Order (NI) Order 1997. It is long overdue! At the same time, we have a lot of concerns whether the proposal is compatible to European (Council of Europe and European Union) and international Human Rights standards?


[2] at p. 144

[3] Ibid at p. 154




[7] This is a political term about the experiences of black people racism in America in which black people and ethnic minority people work together against racism