Announcement | Hustings with a Difference: Stormont Assembly Election 2022 | PPR

Hustings with a Difference: Stormont Assembly Election 2022

PPR campaign groups quiz candidates' positions on core human rights concerns in the run up to May's crunch election. Seán Mac Bradaigh  |  Mon Mar 28 2022
Hustings with a Difference: Stormont Assembly Election 2022

The State of Belfast 2022 - what’s the position of your local MLA candidate? We have asked all of the Belfast candidates who are standing in the Assembly Election on the 5th May 2022 to provide their position on the issues that matter to the campaigners in the PPR network. We will be posting each candidates response on our data map at Take Back the City:

Dear candidate,

On behalf of the human rights campaigning groups supported by Participation and the Practice of Rights, we invite you to participate in an election hustings with a difference. PPR’s human rights activists need your support on their campaigns for improvements in housing, asylum, mental health, the cost of living crisis and open democracy (you can find more information about all our campaigns at We understand that this is a hectic period for all election candidates and have developed a new technology to help voters easily engage with candidates during the Assembly Election 2022.

We invite you to respond to this short and simple questionnaire, providing your position regarding issues of concern to the campaigners in the PPR network by email before Monday 11 April 2022.

We have contacted all candidates in the four Belfast electoral wards. We will be publishing the responses of all the Belfast candidates on our interactive mapping tool, found at Take Back The City.

Thank you for your time, and for sharing your thoughts with us.

Housing campaigners outside City Council support the judicial review of Belfast City Council's planning decision on Mackie's

1. Your position on the housing crisis

The Take Back the City Coalition need your support. Families in housing need in Belfast have developed a vision for a sustainable and inclusive community at the Mackie’s site which is replicable anywhere. They are working with a dedicated team of experts on design, finance, planning and sustainability to make it happen.

  • Do you support the development of public housing on public land at the Mackie’s site?
  • What will you do to deliver on this issue if elected?
Lift the Ban activists prepare and distribute food in Belfast streets as part of the Kind Economy

2. Your position on the refugee crisis

The Lift the Ban and End Destitution / Housing4All groups need your support. The refugee crisis in Ukraine has focused the world’s attention on the need to provide a safe home for people fleeing war, famine and climate collapse. Local people who are trapped in the asylum system and banned from working have launched the Kind Economy network to share their energy and help to counter the difficulties, desperation and isolation that people can face here.

  • Do you support the right to work for asylum seekers?
  • What will you do to deliver on this issue in public office?
Mental health rights activists lobby at Stormont for increased mental health care provision at primary care level

3. Your position on the Mental Health crisis

The WHO and the United Nations have called for a fundamental shift in mental health services. As opposed to the current medicalised model of ‘disorders’, they are recommending a rights-based approach that prioritises community- based responses and targets social determinants of emotional distress, including poverty and discrimination.

  • Do you support the 123GP campaign call for the introduction of waiting time targets for counselling, of 2-3 days maximum for crisis referrals and 28 days maximum for non-urgent referrals?
  • What will you do to deliver on this issue in public office?
Right to Work: Right to Welfare meet government officials to demonstrate need for the People's Proposal

4. Your position on the cost of living crisis

Right to Work: Right to Welfare need your support. Sick, disabled and unemployed campaigners have been campaigning since 2015 for a human rights checklist to guide social security decision makers. Despite the support of every major trade union, all district councils, the advice sector and the current Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey in her previous role as lord Mayor of Belfast – the human rights checklist is still not in place. Advice workers are sounding the alarm.

  • Do you support a human-rights checklist to ensure the rights of the sick, disabled and unemployed are protected during the social-security assessments process?
  • What will you do about this issue if elected?

5. Your position on the crisis of confidence in decision-making and governance

RHI, Redsky, NAMA, Social Investment Fund… These are some of the scandals that have engulfed the Executive in recent years. Open data, transparency and accountability are the lynchpins of stable functioning democracy.

  • Do you agree with the principle of transparent decision-making and open public scrutiny?
  • How will you work to make government more accountable and data more open and accessible if elected?

Download email and social media links for candidates here.