A paper examined the asylum procedure for the UK, examined the process in Northern Ireland, and outlined a range of issues and concerns for refugees and asylum seekers. It said that, while asylum policy was not devolved, Northern Ireland departments had related responsibilities (such as health care, legal aid, and education), and concerns had been raised regarding: access to disaggregated data for Northern Ireland to enable better organisation of services; complications with the asylum process due the specific situation of Northern Ireland; access to health care for unsuccessful asylum applicants; treatment and safety of child asylum seekers; oversight of detention and removal facilities in Northern Ireland; and integration of refugees, in the absence of an integration strategy.
Source: Michael Potter, Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Northern Ireland, Research Paper 63/14, Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Executive began consultation on proposals to publish a Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan with the aim of promoting: an environment free from harassment and bullying; action against homophobia in all forms; and equality of opportunity for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. The consultation would close on 6 June 2014.
Source: Development of a Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan: Consultation document, Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
The Northern Ireland Assembly published a cross-departmental strategy and action plan for people with autism, outlining a whole of life approach for service provision.
Source: The Autism Strategy (2013 ï¿½ 2020) and Action Plan (2013 ï¿½ 2016), Northern Ireland Executive
A report prepared for the Northern Ireland Assembly examined gender issues. It discussed a range of gender disparities and said that women were under-represented across all major positions of political, economic, social and judicial power. The report said that certain policy decisions, such as budget reductions, appeared to have greater impact on women than men. It noted the existence of the Gender Equality Strategy, but said that updates to the strategy had not demonstrated significant change in the position of women in Northern Ireland over time.
Source: Review of Gender Issues in Northern Ireland, Research Paper 15/14, Research and Information Service, Northern Ireland Assembly