#UNIRL Update 3: Views from Civil Society- Ireland & ICESCR

Apologies to any organisations that I have not been able to summarise their arguments. 

Jane O’Sullivan, Community Law and Mediation noted the obligations upon Ireland under Article 9 ICESCR and right to social security violated in many respects. The quality of decision-making is a significant concern in terms of the respect and protection for social and economic rights in the field of social security. Jane emphasised throughout the legal obligations of Ireland under the General Comment on Social Security.

 Maeve O’Rourke and Katharine O’Donnell, representing Justice for the Magdalenesspoke about the continued violations of economic, social and cultural rights of survivors. O’Donnell notes the Government’s position of Magdelene women that women were not “imprisoned or tortured”. O’Donnell noted that the State continues to fail to investigate the abuse suffered by Magdelene women. Burial places have

Barra Lysagh (Legal Officer, Threshold): Right to adequate housing. Legal security of right to tenure has been undermined. Tens of thousands of households are at risk of losing homes. Increasing house prices and unregulated increases in rents, mean families cannot meet their needs. Barry noted that Travellers, asylum seekers and those with special needs face significant discrimination in accessing their right to housing.

Maeve Taylor (Irish Family Planning Association on behalf of the Abortion Rights Campaign) noted the significant delays facing a woman who has otherwise a legal right to abortion. Maeve has noted that the Irish people had never been offered a chance to vote on a more liberal abortion regime. Maeve noted that migrant women, poor women, and asylum seeking women have significant issues with accessing the right to travel to the United Kingdom or elsewhere in accessing termination services.

Me (UCD Human Rights Network, personal capacity!): I outlined to the Committee some key concerns for the respect, protection and fulfilment of economic, social and cultural rights for asylum seekers in direct provision. I noted that the right to work, right to access social assistance, right to adequate food and right to adequate housing and shelter for asylum seekers were violated. I also spoke (very briefly) about the habitual residence condition. In terms of the socio-economic rights of Travellers and Roma, I noted that Travellers were not recognised as an ethnic group, issues with the right to work, lack of culturally appropriate accommodation and rights to education.

After the NGO engagement, we then heard from Chile and Uganda. There was no time for follow up questions. So will be a little while before the next update (post 2pm)! I will attempt to provide 30 minute updates during the Committee’s examination of the Ireland’s report (battery dependent!)