International bodies and experts consistently raise concerns regarding cuts to infrastructure
Concerns regarding the erosion of the Irish statutory equality and human rights infrastructure and regarding proposals in the Heads of Bill to establish the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (which will negatively impact on the independence and effectiveness of the IHREC) have been raised by a number of international and EU bodies and experts with the Irish Government since 2008.
Read our summary of the concerns raised HERE
Council of Europe comments on need for human rights protections in Ireland
Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Following his recent visit to Ireland, the COE Commissioner for Human Rights has written to Minister Alan Shatter on a number areas of concern, including the imminent merger of the Equality Authority and IHRC and the merger of the Equality Tribunal with other employment redress forums .
In a statement from the Council of Europe, it was noted that:
"Commissioner Muižnieks further calls on the Irish authorities to ensure that the on-going merger of the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority does not weaken the effectiveness and independence of national bodies to monitor human rights. “The independence of the new Commission should be clearly reflected in the way its members are appointed, the manner in which its staff is selected and recruited and in the arrangements for the allocation of its budget. It will also be important to ensure that the Equality Tribunal dealing with individual complaints under equality legislation be able to continue to fulfil its quasi-judicial function in an independent manner.”
Read the Commissioner's letter to Minister Shatter in full Here
Read response from Minister Shatter Here
Presentation to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality & Defence
Wed July 4th
ERA Coordinator presenting to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality & Defence
on the heads of the Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill 2012
ERA Respond to the Draft Bill to Merge the Equality Authority and IHRC