12 Ean 2011, 10.55

The impact of the economic and financial measures introduced by the Irish Government on the most disadvantaged in society will be assessed the by UN’s Independent Expert on Human Rights and Poverty at a meeting of an Oireachtas Sub-Committee tomorrow.

Ms. Magdalena Sepulveda Carmen is on a five day visit to Ireland to collect first hand information about the living conditions of people experiencing poverty in Ireland. She will also evaluate how the Government is addressing their situation, in particular through the provision of social protection.

The meeting will take place in Committee Room 3 at 12 noon.

This is the first such visit by a UN human rights expert since 1999 and based on her findings she will make recommendations to the Irish government in a report to be published later this year.

Pat Breen TD, Chairman, of the Sub-Committee on Overseas Aid said;
“In the last decade, the Irish Government invested significantly in poverty alleviation measures such as the state pensions and child benefits. However, recent economic difficulties have seen a reduction in these measures and meant renewed challenges for eliminating poverty.

Ms Sepulveda Carmen is a renowned international expert in her field with vast expertise of evaluating the effect of poverty and advising on the best alleviation strategies.

At tomorrow’s meeting she will inform us of the contrast in the levels of poverty in Ireland with other Western nations, evaluate how the latest cutbacks have impacted on the vulnerable and propose on the best social protection strategies.

Ms Magdalena Sepulveda was appointed UN Independent Expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty in 2008. She is a Chilean lawyer.

For further information
Daniel English
Oireachtas Communications Unit
01 618 4484
087 6944926

Full committee membership:
Pat Breen TD, Fine Gael (Chairman)
Rory O'Hanlon, TD, Fianna Fáil,
Darragh O'Brien, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Sean Ardagh, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Senator Ann Ormonde, (Fianna Fáil)
Senator Dominic Hannigan,(Labour Party)