Survey results capture attitudes to equality and human rights protection post Brexit.
It also sought to measure the public's awareness and understanding of Article 2 of the Windsor Framework. The survey was previously carried out in 2022.
Attitudes to equality and human rights protection in NI post Brexit
The survey found that:
A substantial proportion of respondents felt that attitudes toward minority ethnic people, migrant workers and refugees and asylum seekers had become ‘worse’ since Brexit (46%, 44% and 51% for minority ethnic people, migrant workers and refugees and asylum seekers respectively), while a broadly similar proportion felt that attitudes were ‘about the same’ (45%, 47% and 40% respectively for each of these groups of people).
Over half of all respondents (57%) thought that Brexit raises human rights and equality issues.
Over half of all respondents were concerned that their equality and human rights will be affected in the future as a result of Brexit (58%). This is similar to the proportion of respondents concerned (57%) in 2022.
Public's awareness and understanding of Article 2 of the Windsor Framework
The survey found that:
There is a considerable increase from 2022 in the proportion of respondents who are aware that equality and human rights are part of the UK Government’s commitments under the Windsor Framework / Protocol (70% in 2023 compared to 53% in 2022).
A substantial proportion of respondents (75%) indicated that the equality and human rights protections included in the Windsor Framework / Protocol were important to them (an increase from 72% in 2022).
Over half of all respondents (53%) were aware that they had the right to bring legal action under the Windsor Framework / Protocol with regard to equality and human rights protections under Article 2. This is a considerable increase from 2022, when only 34% of respondents indicated that they were aware of these new rights.
There was also a considerable increase in awareness regarding the provision of legal advice and assistance by the Equality Commission and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, and that we can help individuals to bring legal actions before our courts if they consider their equality and human rights protected under the Windsor Framework / Protocol have been reduced. Almost two thirds of respondents (60%) indicated that they were aware of this in the 2023 survey, compared to 47% in the 2022 survey.
Just over one in three respondents (37%) were aware that ECNI and NIHRC were working with Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in terms of the all-island dimension on rights and equality commitments under the Windsor Framework / Protocol. This is a considerable increase since 2022, when one in five respondents (21%) were aware of this. Over half of all respondents thought that this oversight role was important to them (59%).
The online survey was carried out by LucidTalk, and was representative of the Northern Ireland population. There were 2,136 responses.
The Equality Commission's role in ensuring the UK Government protects rights after leaving the EU
We work alongside the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to ensure the government keeps their commitment to equality and human rights protections in the Windsor Framework.
Since 2021, the Equality Commission and the NI Human Rights Commission have held a combined role called the ‘dedicated mechanism’. Together, we have duties and powers monitor, advise, enforce and report on this commitment to protect rights after Brexit.
In doing this, we can provide advice and assistance to individuals who thing there has been a breach of this commitment. We can also support people to bring legal action by way of judicial review.
If you would like further information on this survey, please contact email@example.com