Human Rights Day 2017 – Our call on all Senators and TDs!

Open call from ATD Ireland
on Human Rights Day 2017

The protection and recognition
of Human Rights starts at home!

Four urgent steps to make rights real
for all in Ireland!

Dear Senators, Dear TDs,
A few hours before the Human Rigths Day events organised by All Together in Dignity in the National Gallery of Ireland and in the Dublin North Inner City, we allow ourselves to call on you to make rights real for all the Irish citizens facing for years consistent poverty and marginalisation. Here are the four steps we invite you to consider in order to walk at home, the talk of the Tánaiste at the occasion of the Human Rights Day 2017.
1. To implement the 2012 UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. Ireland just adopted a strategy on Business and Human Rights based on the 2011 UN Guiding Principles. We invite you to initiate a similar process based on the 2012 Guiding Principles. This work could inspire both the new Action Plans for Social Inclusion and the Agenda 2030 implementation strategy to be adpoted by Ireland in 2018.
2. With all the other members of the Irish Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Initiative, ATD Ireland is calling on you to accept the recommendation of the Irish Constitutional Convention. In February 2015, the citizens gathered in the Convention asked you to strengthen the protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Irish Constitution. In the context of the current homelessness and housing crisis, an important first move would be to prepare a referendum to introduce a right to housing in Bunreacht na hÉireann. Many countries around the world did it! We believe Ireland can do it too!
3. With all the other members of the Community Platform, we can’t accept the severe health inequalities experienced by the most vulnerable in Ireland. Poverty is an early death sentence. On Human Rights Day we call on you to make sure both Sláinte Care and the Equality and Human Rights Public Sector Duty are implemented in a robust way with a priority delivery for the one who suffer most from the inequalities in the health care services.
4. On 9th November 2017, a majority of Dáil Éireann supported Deputy Jim O’ Callaghan and Deputy Fiona O’ Loughlin Private Bill to amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000 by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person’s social and economic background. Today we call on you to support this process and recognise this new “discrimination ground” in the Irish equality laws framework. We believe this is a needed step to improve access to and delivery of Human Rights provision for the most vulnerable.