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Inaugural Human Rights and Equality sub-Committee meeting sets out programme of work

The Oireachtas Joint sub-Committee on Human Rights relative to Justice and Equality Matters met for the first time this morning and agreed to progress discussion in a range of areas in relation to human rights.

25 March 2015

The sub-Committee agreed to initially focus its work on the following topics in the coming months:

  • To review the 2009 Charities Act with regard to its omission of human rights organisations to apply for charitable status;
  • To investigate the introduction of a regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants;
  • To examine the ratification by Ireland of international human rights treaties, and
  • To support public bodies to prepare for their 'positive duty' obligation to ensure a regard for promoting equality and human rights.

Sub-Committee Chairman David Stanton TD says: “This Joint sub-Committee was established with a view to examining how issues, themes and proposals take account of human rights provisions. The focussed membership of the Committee intends to work to ensure that any new legislation is human rights ‘proofed’. At our inaugural meeting this morning, we agreed a range of topics in which to concentrate our efforts. The sub-Committee will report back to the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on such topics and the extent to which compliance with the human rights of persons within the State is enhanced.”

Sub-Committee Rapporteur Senator Katherine Zappone says: “This morning’s meeting was a valuable first step in setting out the programme of work for this new sub-Committee in the coming months. Members agreed ambitious but achievable areas to examine, which will ensure that this sub-Committee provides robust parliamentary oversight in how Ireland complies with its international human rights obligations.”

More details on the sub-Committee are accessible here.

Media enquiries to:
Paul Hand,
Communications Unit,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
P: +3531 618 4484
M: +353 87 694 9926

Committee Membership
David Stanton (FG) [Chairman]  
Anne Ferris (LAB)
Finian McGrath (IND)

Ivana Bacik (LAB)
Katherine Zappone (IND) [Rapporteur]