Human Rights and Equality Commission Appears Before Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“The Commission”) is today to address the Oireachtas Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight as part of its strategic work to advance human rights and equality budget proofing.

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner, Commission Member Dr. Mary Murphy and Commission Director Laurence Bond will address the Select Committee to raise poverty and equality proofing budgetary measures, and to engage directly with Oireachtas Members on using budgetary processes to focus on human rights and equality.

The Commission, in its independent role as the national human rights and equality body, directly accountable to the Oireachtas, has focused on how it can assist in developing human rights and equality proofing budgetary measures.

The Programme for a Partnership Government of 2016, set out a commitment to “develop the process of budget and policy proofing as a means of advancing equality, reducing poverty and strengthening economic and social rights.” The Programme for a Partnership Government further commits to drawing directly on the expertise of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to support the proofing process.

This Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Select Committee appearance, which comes on the same day as the Summer Economic Statement, marks the second year the Commission has appeared before Oireachtas Members as part of the budgetary process.

To support efforts to develop human rights and equality budget proofing, the Commission has also over the last year:

  • engaged with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform specifically on incorporating equality budgeting into Ireland’s medium-term expenditure framework;
  • facilitated a seminar with officials across government departments with roles in the budgetary process
  • published a series of factsheets on budget proofing and equality, and is working to build knowledge on the application of budget proofing mechanisms
  • focused on the statutory public sector obligation on all public bodies including local authorities and Government Departments to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and protect human rights, as set out under section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014. The Commission has rolled out a programme of capacity-building, pilot projects and information provision on this duty.

In appearing before the Committee, the Commission will also welcome the role that the planned independent Parliamentary Budget Office will play in the achievement of effective and meaningful proofing practices across the relevant State institutions.

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

“Today’s appearance marks the second year the Commission has engaged with the Oireachtas in supporting human rights and equality budget proofing as set out under the Programme for Government.

“Human rights principles reinforce the focus on good budget governance including a strong evidence base, and mechanisms to guarantee participation, transparency and non-discrimination.”

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 Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight proceedings will take place in Committee Room 2, Leinster house beginning at 14.00.

The proceedings are public and can be viewed live at: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/watchlive/committeeroom2/

Budget proofing for human rights and equality

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is strongly committed to supporting human rights and equality proofing in the  budget process  and  has  identified  work in this area as a priority in our Strategy Statement 2016-2018.

The Government’s ‘Programme for a Partnership Government’   includes commitments to:

“…develop the process of budget and policy proofing as a means of advancing equality, reducing poverty and strengthening economic and social rights” (P6) and to

“draw on the expertise of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to support the proofing process”. (P15)

The Programme for Government states that institutional arrangements to support budget proofing will be put in place in the Oireachtas and within key Government Departments.

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission was set up on 1 November 2014 as an independent public body, directly accountable to the Oireachtas, 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 Act 2014 sets out the functions of the Commission,

(a) to protect and promote human rights and equality,

(b) to encourage the development of a culture of respect for human rights, equality, and intercultural understanding in the State,

(c) to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights and equality in the State,

(d) to encourage good practice in intercultural relations, to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity in the State and respect for the freedom and dignity of each person, and

(e) to work towards the elimination of human rights abuses, discrimination and prohibited conduct

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.

 

 

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