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60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights should refocus efforts to deliver such rights in Ireland.

10 December, 2008 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has stated that the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should refocus efforts to deliver these rights to the people of Ireland and those who come to our shores.

Speaking today on Human Rights Day Mr Maskey said:

"The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlight that this is a document that is as relevant today as it was sixty years ago.

"This was a document designed to provide and enshrine a framework for the protection of human rights across the globe including the right of life, free conscience, legal redress and equality. The document has given direction to many governments, political parties, NGO's and others across the world.

"However on the 60th Anniversary of this document we don't have to look to far to see that fundamental human rights are being abused in Ireland. Only this week the revelation of abuse of Filipino fishermen, alongside the breaking up of a human trafficking ring operation across Ireland or asylum seekers and immigrants being held in prison facilities are all serious breaches of rights enshrined in the Declaration.

"We all must refocus our efforts to live up to and provide protection for people under these rights. A rights based approach needs adopted in both public and private spheres to protect the most vulnerable in our society. It would provide protections for groups that have been most marginalised. The rights of the disabled, elderly, children, women, ethnic minorities, economically disadvantaged, among others, must be safeguarded if we are to deliver an Ireland of Equals."

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