Oireachtas Committee Report on Proposed Article 41.2 Referendum Welcomed by Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“the Commission”) has welcomed the publication of Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality report on Article 41.2 of the Constitution, and in particular the Committee’s deliberations on the need to recognise the value of care work in Irish society.

The report published this morning sets out the majority view of the Committee that the current wording should be replaced “with a new provision that recognises the contributions made by family life and carers to our society.”

The Commission submitted its legislative observations to Oireachtas Members in June and on the 19th of September three Commission Members appeared before Oireachtas Members to set out its three key recommendations:

(1) Article 41.2 should be amended to make it gender-neutral.
(2) Article 41.2 should be amended to reference ‘family life’ and ‘family life‘ should be understood as including a wide range of family relationships and include situations where family members do not live in the same home.
(3) Article 41.2 should be amended to recognise and support care work.

The Commission also met on this issue in July with the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD to outline its proposals.

Speaking today, Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has a mandate to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the protection of human rights and equality, and we have made clear recommendations in respect to Article 41.2 which we are pleased to see largely reflected in the Committee’s report.

“The Commission welcomes the progressive approach taken by the Committee to this important issue. It is clear from its recommendations that there is cross-party support within the Committee for an amendment which recognises the public good provided by care work within and by families in Ireland. The form that amendment might take deserves to be debated and considered, recognising the important issues at stake for our citizens.”

ENDS/

For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,
01 8589601 / 087 0697095
bdawson@ihrec.ie 
Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Notes to editor:

The full text of the Policy Statement “Article 41.2 of the Constitution of Ireland” provided by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to Oireachtas Members is available at the following link:

https://www.ihrec.ie/documents/policy-statement-on-article-41-2-of-the-constitution-of-ireland/

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 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.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.
The Commission is mandated to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the protection of human rights and equality and to make recommendations to the Government to strengthen and uphold human rights and equality in the State

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