Who we are

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights and equality institution.

We are an independent public body that accounts to the Oireachtas, with a mandate established under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 (IHREC Act 2014). The IHREC Act includes and further enhances the functions of the former Irish Human Rights Commission and the former Equality Authority.

Our purpose is to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

Our work is determined independently by the fifteen members of the Commission who were appointed by our Head of State, President Michael D. Higgins, in 2014. The diverse membership of the Commission broadly reflects the nature of Irish society.

We work in a variety of ways to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland.

The work of the Commission ranges from working at the policy level to review the effectiveness of human rights and equality law, policy and practice in the State and within public bodies, to working with communities and civil society to monitor and report on people’s real life experiences of human rights and equality on the ground.

Our legal powers include giving practical help, including legal assistance to help people defend their rights, and contributing to legal cases (amicus curiae) that deal with someone’s equality or human rights.

Whether we are addressing individual concerns, engaging with government or public bodies on policy and practice issues or raising awareness with public audiences on human rights and equality, our task is to build a fair and inclusive society that protects and promotes human rights and equality.

Our vision is of an inclusive Ireland where human rights and equality are respected, protected and fulfilled for everyone, everywhere.