70% in North back Bill of Rights, poll finds

 

SOME 70 per cent of respondents to a Northern Ireland opinion poll back a Bill of Rights, a United Nations human rights committee has been told.

Campaigners for such a Bill told the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva of the results of opinion polling which uncovered almost equal levels of support for a Bill by both Catholic and Protestant respondents. They hope the UN will indicate their backing in their examination of the UK government.

The poll of more than 1,000 people, which was carried out by independent marketing research firm Millward Brown Ulster, shows that 70 per cent of people in Northern Ireland think a Bill of Rights is important, while over 90 per cent of people believe it important for a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights to contain social and economic protections, such as rights to housing, work and healthcare.

Kevin Hanratty of campaign group Human Rights Consortium, which commissioned the survey, said: “These figures show massive public support for a Bill of Rights which contains meaningful rights on everyday issues such as health and housing.

“We hope that these findings also serve as a loud wake-up call to the Secretary of State , whose recent comments on the Bill of Rights have shown him to be out of touch with the views of ordinary people.”

The poll found that 92 per cent believe that it is very or quite important for the Bill to contain “the right to an adequate standard of living”; 93 per cent believe that it is very/quite important for the Bill to contain “the right to work”; and 93 per cent believe that it is very/quite important for the Bill to contain “the right to adequate accommodation”.