28 Sep

Help prepare the next UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty !

The Irish 17 October Committee and ATD as one of its members is looking for volunteers to support the preparation of the next UN Day for Eradication of Poverty Gathering on Custom House Quay in Dublin.

  • You want to support the events marking the next UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Friday 17 October?
  • You are interested to discover the history of this UN Day and its impacts worldwide?
  • You would like to know more about how people experiencing severe and chronic poverty can act as experts and have their say in policies for a just and sustainable world?

Write to: committee@17october.ie  or contact Pierre at 089 440 15 23

Detailed presentation of this UN Day is available at www.17october.ie

Next meeting of the Irish Committee is planned on Thursday 9th October 2014 at 3pm at the ATD office  26 Mountjoy Square. New people are welcomed!

The UN theme for 17 October 2014 is :“Leave No One Behind:  Think, Decide and Act Together Against Extreme Poverty”. The International 17 October Commitee who met in Dublin in May 2014, invites us to focus on this message.

“Leave No One Behind”- putting an end to discrimination based on social disadvantage, and ensuring that no one is forgotten in our efforts to build a more equitable world. “Think, Decide and Act Together Against Extreme Poverty”– deciding to do what it takes to ensure that people living in extreme poverty become the primary partners in programmes to overcome poverty and promote development. Only by working together with them will we be able to ensure that no one is left out.

27 Sep

ATD supports an open letter to the Irish Government on ESC Rights

A call for the Government to accept the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention that economic, social and cultural rights be given enhanced protection in the Constitution

ATD with many organisations gathered by the Economic, Social and Cultural (ESC) Rights Initiative  wrote on 26 September 2014 to the Taoiseach and to the Tánaiste.

On 31 March the Constitutional Convention recommended to the Government, by an overwhelming majority of 85%, that ESC rights be given enhanced protection in the Constitution.

The Government was due to respond to the recommendation by the end of July. Disappointingly and in breach of the Conventions’ terms of reference, this response will not be given until the autumn.

The recommendation presents Ireland with a unique opportunity to take a significant step towards fulfilling its international human rights obligations and to ensure that all human rights, civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural, are granted equal protection by the Constitution.

It would also ensure that Ireland keeps pace with the growing international trend towards according constitutional protection to these fundamental human rights.

If further examination of this issue is deemed necessary, for example through the establishment of a working group to consider the implications of constitutional incorporation of these rights and to formulate the appropriate wording for a referendum bill, the ESC Rights Initiative urges that such a process be quickly put in place. Coalition also urges that any such further examination process should:

  • Be open and transparent;
  • Draw on internal analysis of relevant Departments, as well as external expertise, including from civil society organisations;
  • Have clear and public terms of reference;
  • Have an expeditious and defined timeframe for reporting;
  • Be mandated to make public its findings and reasoning.
25 Sep

In Record Time! Children will be able to make complaints to the UN within 3 months

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD, signed and ratified the Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in New York on 24th September 2014.

The Children’s Rights Alliance and its members have campaigned for Ireland to sign and ratify this important procedure since 2012.

This is a tremendous achievement for Minister Reilly, Minister Flanagan and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs who have worked tirelessly to get this protocol ratified in record time. Now children’s rights will be protected at the highest level.

Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to ratify the Third Optional Protocol.  States that have already ratified this Protocol include: Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Gabon, Germany, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Thailand. Ireland’s decision to ratify quickly will encourage other countries to follow.

This new procedure enables children and their representatives to complain to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child when their rights have been breached. However, there is an obligation to exhaust domestic remedies meaning that complainants will have to rely upon the many different complaints mechanisms/bodies nationally before making a complaint to the UN Committee. Complainants will be able to lodge complaints with the UN Committee within three months.

The Children’s Rights Alliance will be hosting an information event on how to use the Protocol in October 2014. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the Protocol, you can read our briefing here.

The Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members (among them ATD) working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child.

16 Sep

Overseas aid works and is widely supported – stop cutting the aid budget, say NGOs

Irish overseas aid agencies called on the Government to ensure it made no further cuts to the overseas aid budget and to set out how it will meet the 0.7% ODA/GNI target it had originally committed to achieving by 2015.

The call was made by the members of Dóchas www.dochas.ie, the umbrella group of 62 Irish Development NGO and global justice groups, as they presented their 2015 pre-Budget Submission to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD.

Presenting the submission, Hans Zomer of Dóchas said: “Ireland’s overseas aid is effective. It makes real and positive differences to the lives of millions of people across the developing world. Thanks to aid, nine out of ten of the world’s children are now in school and millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. Aid works, and we must sustain the progress being made. We are therefore calling on the government to keep our promise and urgently present a plan on how Ireland will achieve the UN targets on overseas aid.”

Dóchas also highlighted that there continues to be overwhelming public support in Irish society for overseas aid. In July, an opinion poll undertaken by Ipsos MRBI found that a very large majority of people – 75 percent – think that “even in an economic down-turn, we have an obligation to invest in overseas aid”.

“Public support for investing in overseas aid remains strong. This opinion poll shows that 3 out of every 4 people in Ireland do not want an economic crisis to be a reason for us to turn our back on the world’s poorest people,” noted Zomer.

 “The figures remind the Government that the vast majority of people in Ireland feel strongly about our tradition, and our obligations towards those less fortunate than ourselves. The people of Ireland do not want the aid cuts to continue,” concluded Hans Zomer.

  • The full text of the Dóchas budget submission


12 Sep

Artisans of Peace Overcoming Poverty released online!

ATD’s latest book was just released online as a free e-book download.
The book is titled Artisans of Peace Overcoming Poverty, and it grew out of the participatory research on the violence of extreme poverty that showed just how much people living in poverty do to search for peace, to go beyond violence, and to build a sense of community.
The text began its life as part of ATD’s submission when Federico Mayor nominated ATD for the Nobel Prize in 2013.
You can download a free copy of the book here:
This represents the culmination of a lot of work on behalf of a lot of people in a lot of different places, so please do not hesitate to share this far and wide.
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If you’re on Twitter, you can share this tweet.