Noeline Blackwell, Director of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) has informed the Committee of the strength of civil society engagement with the Our Voices, Our Rights report. Our Voices, Our Rights has set down the key areas where civil society organisations have raised concerns on on Ireland’s non-compliance with the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Speaking to the UN Committee, Blackwell stated:
“ The poorest 10% of our population suffered most due to choices made by Government during the economic recession. The State focused on the protection of the Banks. People were told they had no choices. ”
Blackwell then outlined some core issues with Ireland’s compliance as regards socio-economic and cultural rights.
- No domestic mechanisms to hold State accountable for violations of economic, social and cultural rights;
- Need an audit of Irish protection of socio-economic rights;
- Lack of data makes it impossible for State to measure current state of rights, and impossible for civil society to monitor it.
- The negative effect of the recession on the marginalised with the increase of consistent poverty.
Noeline outlined a range of key economic, social and cultural rights concerns as regards workers rights, social welfare, housing, health, education and cultural rights.
Next up summary of contributions from other NGO/civil society organisations.