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Ireland must live up to international obligations to protect economic, social and cultural rights – Mac Lochlainn

8 June, 2015 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has reiterated his view that Ireland must be held to account for its failure to protect economic, social and cultural rights, in accordance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Speaking ahead of the Irish Government’s attendance at a hearing before the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva, Deputy Mac Lochlainn has called on the Government to own up to its failures and to start standing up for these basic human rights.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

“It is not acceptable that successive governments have yet to fulfill Ireland’s obligations under this covenant that was signed in 1989. At a time where Ireland has rightfully taken to the world stage as champions of rights and equality following the marriage equality referendum, the Government has ignored other basic human rights and failed to adopt a rights-based framework in the areas of the rights of persons with disabilities, anti-poverty, the provision of adequate healthcare, housing rights, the low level of minimum wage, low rate of social security and assistance payments, and the rights of members of the Traveller community.

“The adoption of socio-economic rights into our domestic laws is essential to ensure basic levels of human dignity are protected.

“Years of austerity by this Government, and the Government before them, have further eroded these rights. The austerity decisions taken by this Government have meant that our most vulnerable citizens and those at the margins of society have not had their voice heard or their rights protected.

“It is my hope that the Committee hearing will put pressure on this Government to wake up to the fact that Ireland’s citizens need their socio-economic to be realised and protected. The Government can no longer ignore their failure in this area.” 

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