The Offices of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) organised an inspiring International Conference which focused on sharing the features and benefits of a Human Rights based approach to Ombudsman work. Ombudsman and Human Rights organisations from all over the world registered for the event and participation offered the benefit of a bespoke staff manual and on-line tools as well as the ability to share information and learning from other organisations.
The conference was attended by our Public Relations Officer, Ms Nadine Pardo-Zammit who has been leading our Gibraltar Office with the Human Rights based approach to investigative work.
Left to right: Mrs Sumedha Dwevedi, India Police Service National Human Rights, Commission, India; Ms Nadine Pardo –Zammit, Public Services Ombudsman Office; Mr Custodio Duma, Mozambique Human Rights Commission; Donal Galligan, Director, Ombudsman Association.
The conference begun on Wednesday 25 May 2016 with a welcome reception and dinner Hosted by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, at Belfast Parliament Building.
Thursday 26th May was a full day of motivating presentations from delegates from across the world. The Conference was opened by Dr Tom Frawley (Former Northern Ireland Ombudsman) & Les Allamby (Chief Human Rights Commissioner for Northern Ireland), and the opening address (by video footage) was given by Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).
The interactive workshops in the afternoon proved very beneficial as the use of the bespoke staff manual was explained and applied to Ombudsman Cases. This was followed by a presentation given by Marie Anderson (Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman - NIPSO) on the Human Rights Based Approach – ‘Making a Difference’ and ‘Adding Value in Public Service’ by Dr Kathy Jack (Belfast Health and Social Care Trust). The first day of the conference ended that day with a black tie celebration dinner at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners’ Office.
The trip proved to be of great value and the learnings will be applied to our work at the Gibraltar Office.