Northern Ireland is failing to keep pace with the rest of the United Kingdom and Ireland on key human rights provisions, according to a new report.
The NI Human Rights Commission has published its detailed annual statement which provides an assessment of developments affecting human rights protections in Northern Ireland throughout 2018.
Multiple human rights issues requiring immediate action by the UK Government, NI Executive or relevant public authorities have been identified by the Commission.
Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Les Allamby stated:"This is the second annual statement published against the backdrop of the absence of devolved government in Northern Ireland.
"The outstanding issues are profound; including the need to reform the law on access to termination of pregnancy; deal effectively with the past including outstanding investigations and legacy inquests; tackle child sexual exploitation; address the issues of children going missing from care; and the continued absence of a strategy to reduce poverty, despite this being declared unlawful in the High Court three years ago.
"The stark implications of the impasse are laid bare; with more issues marked red denoting potential and ongoing violations of human rights needing immediate remedy than at any time since the annual statement was first published in 2012.
"This throws into sharp relief the need to restore the NI Executive and NI Assembly as soon as practicable."