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Sinn Féin engage unions in debate on All Ireland Rights Charter

7 December, 2004

Sinn Fein has invited unions from across Ireland to engage in a discussion on Sinn Fein's All Ireland 'Rights for All' charter in Dundalk today.

Speaking from the event in the Imperial Hotel Sinn Féin Spokesperson on All Ireland development, West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff said:

"Sinn Fein has consistently pressed the British and Irish governments to implement the Good Friday Agreement. We believe that the all-Ireland architecture within the Agreement has the potential drive forward the all-Ireland agenda. Whatever the outcome of the current talks, the business of rebuilding and preparing for reunification will continue to gather momentum by establishing a participative model for democracy which will protect the rights andentitlements of all our citizens.

"Sinn Féin have put forward strong arguments for advancement of key Human Rights commitments in our discussions with the two governments. We have sought specifically to strengthen the rights of the Human Rights Commission. We believe also that the work of establishing a Bill of Rights should pushed forward immediately and lay the foundation for the advancement of an all-Ireland Charter of Human Rights.

"We believe that as many people as possible need to be consulted on what should be in this charter of rights, and most especially the working people across the island. For this reason, Sinn Fein has drawn up a 'Rights for All' Charter based on international documents and declarations, in order to have a starting point for consultations, which need to be held throughout the island.

"Although we have received valuable comment from the ICTU and of course from many individual trade unionists over the past few months, we are anxious to move forward to as wide as possible consultation, across the board, with all trade unionists, and to hear their views on what rights should be enshrined in a Bill of Rights, including guarantees on rights in the work place, which are currently, much restricted and rarely enforced." ENDS

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