Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty

Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty

What is the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty?

All public bodies in Ireland have responsibility to promote equality, prevent discrimination and protect the human rights of their employees, customers, service users and everyone affected by their policies and plans. This is a legal obligation, called the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, and it originated in Section 42 of our founding legislation, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014.

To request a hard copy of the Guidance document, please send an email to vajovic@IHREC.IE .

Case Studies

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has undertaken six pilot projects on the process of implementing the Duty with two government agencies, two local authorities, a higher education institution and a non-governmental organisation. These pilot projects are outlined in the following video case studies:

Case Study 1: Monaghan County Council

Case Study 2: Cork City Council

Case Study 3: University College Cork

Case Study 4: The Probation Service

Case Study 5: The Prison Service

Case Study 6: Community Action Network



These are some tools that may help build capacity for human rights and equality in your organisation:

Following two major conferences on the Duty, the Commission compiled the insights provided by keynote speakers and the ideas and learnings shared at the various workshops into this conference report.


This conference, held in September 2018 provided an opportunity to showcase and disseminate the learnings of PSD pilot projects from two local authorities – Cork City Council and Monaghan County Council. Read the report.


Other Resources

Further Reading and Information on Human Rights and Equality

 UN Treaty Bodies’ Concluding Observations on Ireland

 Consultation Guidelines  

 Equality and Human Rights Values-based Frameworks

A framework of equality and human rights values: Autonomy, Democracy, Dignity, Inclusion, Social Justice.

This was developed by the Equality and Rights Alliance to underpin equality and human rights in the context of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in Ireland.

The PANEL framework of principles: Participation, Accountability, Non-discrimination and Equality, Empowerment, and Legality.

This approach was developed by the Scottish Human Rights Commission to underpin the implementation of a human rights-based approach as part of its equality and human rights impact assessment resource.

The FREDA framework of values: Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity and Autonomy.

This approach was developed in the UK health sector to support the NHS to use a human rights-based approach to improve service design and delivery.