Make Our Future Fair

Human Rights Consortium

Make Our Future Fair: Deliver a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland

We call on the UK Government to deliver the outstanding human rights commitments made a quarter of a century ago in the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement and to protect the rights of people across the United Kingdom.

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We are calling on the UK Government to deliver the outstanding human rights commitments made a quarter of a century ago in the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement and to protect the rights of people across the United Kingdom.

The main undelivered commitment is a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. A Bill of rights could ensure additional protections for people across a range of rights such as adequate healthcare, access to education and decent housing. This would provide a safety net that everyone in society could rely on to ensure that their rights are protected when things go wrong.

Ongoing attempts to remove existing human rights standards, including the government’s recent proposals to scrap the Human Rights Act, threaten the protections we enjoy under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) across the United Kingdom and are a betrayal of the values of the Northern Ireland peace agreement.

The signatories to the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement committed themselves to ‘the achievement of reconciliation, tolerance, and mutual trust, and to the protection and vindication of the human rights of all.’

It is a disgrace that 25 years after the signing of the Agreement, the people of Northern Ireland are still waiting on one of the main human rights commitments of that deal.

It is time for the UK Government to fulfil its commitment, deliver a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights and protect human rights across the UK by protecting the Human Rights Act and guaranteeing full access to the ECHR.

It is time to #MakeOurFutureFair.

Read our letter from over 60 Northern Ireland civil society organisations to Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak MP), Leader of the Opposition (Sir Keir Starmer MP) and Taoiseach (Leo Varadkar TD), and message of solidarity from 40 human rights organisations across the uk.

Make Our Future Fair is a campaign by the Human Rights Consortium, it’s 165 members and other supporters from across society to deliver a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. We are all a part of this campaign because we believe that Northern Ireland needs a strong and inclusive Bill of Rights as one of the essential tools to enable the government to properly protect us all.

A Bill of Rights is a text that lays down the rights that everyone in a society should be able to rely on. It provides a safety net for everyone so that when things go wrong, we know that we have this set of rules to depend upon, by guaranteeing basic rights to things like accommodation, an adequate standard of living, education, health, and much more.

Rights are about ensuring that people can lead lives of dignity and autonomy, are able to choose how they live their lives and make decisions for themselves. They apply to all people in all circumstances and can protect us from racism, xenophobia and all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Proper human rights protections need to be a core part of how we continue to improve this society. We want people to stay here, to raise their families here and to keep making this place better. We’ve come so far together, let’s keep moving forward towards the Northern Ireland we all deserve.

We need to Make Our Future Fair, we need a Bill of Rights and we need YOU to Take Action and help us to make it happen!

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Our Supporters


The most important part of Make Our Future Fair is talking to you, getting your support and getting everyone involved in making a better Northern Ireland for us all!

We want to make getting involved and supporting this campaign as easy and accessible as possible and we need your help to get the word out about the campaign and make sure that everyone knows what it is about, why it is so important and how they can get involved.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let us know what you want to see in a Bill of Rights using #MakeOurFutureFair.

You can show your support for the campaign by using our Facebook and Twitter banners, add the campaign to your profile picture by searching Make Our Future Fair on Facebook photo frames, or add it as a Twibbon now!

Click the button to download our activist pack of handy social media graphics, print out posters and logos that you can use to spread the word and be an essential part of the campaign!

Together, we can Make Our Future Fair.


A Bill of Rights is a list of basic rights and freedoms that a government agrees to legally enforce in order to better protect the individuals within the state.

The duty is therefore on the state to protect the various rights of the individual in a Bill of Rights using all of the legislative, policy and decision-making powers at its disposal.

Bills of Rights are part of the normal constitutional frameworks of many democracies around the world.

While proposals for a Bill of Rights have been around for years, provision to develop a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland was included in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 1998.

There are countless reasons why we could benefit from having a Bill of Rights.

Some of these include:

  • Providing the people of Northern Ireland with the best possible human rights standards.
  • To help protect the most vulnerable members of our society and improve their quality of life.
  • To clearly define the rights of individuals and the states duty to protect them.
  • To enshrine important aspects of society as rights and not merely entitlements that may be undermined – e.g. adequate healthcare (NHS), access to education and others.
  • To act as an important safety net in our society when things go wrong (e.g. CVD-19).
  • To give certainty and clarity to people around their rights during times of instability (e.g. Brexit)
  • To set a direction of travel for the development of rights and a blueprint for good governance based on human rights for our elected representatives.
  • To help elected representatives use objective, internationally recognised standards when making decisions that overlap with human rights.
  • To provide a legal basis under which politicians and the government can ensure our rights are respected, implemented and protected.
  • To promote open government and ensure that we can hold politicians and government to account for any failure in their duty to protect our rights.
  • To ensure that the rights of any individual is protected on an equal basis regardless of race, sex, religion, political opinion or any other status.
  • To build confidence across all communities, in what is still quite a divided society, that power will be exercised in a fair and equal manner regardless of who is in control of our government.
  • To fulfil our international legal obligations by incorporating internationally agreed human rights standards from the United Nations and other sources.