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Op-Ed Articles

A Community Right to Participate

In considering a Community Rights Act for Northern Ireland (CRACT NI) we need to be clear about the provisions that should be contained therein. If we state that communities should have a right to buy, own, challenge and participate, then what do we mean by this and why are these rights needed? 

This will require a wide-ranging and sustained community conversation on the concept of community rights, which must include:

Supporting Balanced, Inclusive and Sustainable Local Economies

‘The economic sphere is not distinct from the social, they are one and the same. We must therefore root our economy in social justice and be guided by the limits of the environment to create a country in which wealth is enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.’ (‘What Needs to be Done’-The Manifesto for Local Economies, Centre for Local Economic Strategies 2017)

Time for Change - Time for an NI Community Rights Act

Recent political discourse in Northern Ireland (NI) is liberally peppered with reference to ‘rights’ - language rights, an Irish Language Act coupled with a specific Rights Act for Ulster-Scots; or perhaps a cultural rights framework capturing the British identity of the people of NI. However, the demand for rights in NI extends beyond the narrow parameters of national identity and includes, for example, marriage and reproduction rights. Social change demands that our political system keeps step.

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