Human Rights and Equality Update - Issue 9 2019
Issue 9 2019

In a busy month for the Commission, we are just back from sunny Carlow where we met people of all ages at the National Ploughing Championships (pictured above).

The Commission exchanged on disability rights with guests from South Africa, focusing on best monitoring practices under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including our just-concluded #allhuman #allequal campaign (video below). 

Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner Emily Logan and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissioner Les Allamby spoke publically on the human rights implications of Brexit.

The Commission met in plenary in September, moving forward work on a range of issues including discriminatory advertising on the website and our upcoming report to the UN on racial discrimination in Ireland. Watch the video.

We have also announced the award of our grants and student bursaries for 2019. We warmly congratulate all of the awardees. We also had a full-house for our information session on implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty with a keynote from Cork City Council.  

Finally, we are gearing up for our conference on reasonable accommodation of people with disabilities in the workplace, a long-standing issue most recently brought to light in the Supreme Court decision on Marie Daly, in which we acted as an amicus curiae, or friend of the court. The event will be live-streamed on our website on 7 October.

Read on for more on our work, events and significant human rights and equality issues in Ireland.


Upcoming event and live-stream
Achieving equality at work: Reasonable accommodation in practice

The benefits of decent work include a fair income, security in the workplace, social protection for families and individuals, better prospects for personal development and social integration. The Employment Equality Acts oblige employers to make reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities.

The Commission, as Ireland’s national human rights and equality body, is on Monday 7 October bringing together 150 participants from public and private sector employers, trade union groups, people with disabilities and a number of advocacy groups to discuss reasonable accommodation in practice in the workplace.

The purpose of the event is to support employers to meet their obligations under law and make reasonable accommodation as part of everyday employment policy and practice, to ensure greater access to employment and progress in the workplace for people with disabilities.

The event is now fully subscribed, however, you can email to be placed on a waiting list.

You can also join tune into the livestream of the event on the day: (Monday, 7th Oct, 9.30am)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ReasonableAccommodation.

Event webpage

Brexit interview  
Joint Committee makes renewed human rights and equality appeal on Brexit

In a sit-down interview with the Guardian, Chief Commissioner Emily Logan and Les Allamby, Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission jointly expressed the need for there to be a renewed focus on human rights and equality as part of Brexit.

This builds on the work of the Joint Committee, since before the UK's withdrawal vote. The Joint Committee (Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission), established under the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, have most recently published research, Evolving Justice Arrangements Post-Brexit, that includes an analysis of existing justice and security cooperation between the UK and the EU, as well as the evolving justice arrangements post-Brexit, with a particular focus on the human rights implications.

Evolving Justice Arrangements Post-Brexit–report

Related media
The Guardian–Interview with the two Chief Commissioners

Ploughing 2019
Views shared on human rights and equality


The Commission hosted a stand at the National Ploughing Championships to promote awareness of the Commission's work and capture views from attendees on human rights and equality issues across the country. Find out what people had to say in the video highlights (click image left).

The Commission's Your Rights Information Service provides information on rights and remedies available under equality and human rights law in Ireland. This includes information on: work-related discrimination; discrimination in relation to goods and services; discrimination in relation to education and human rights protections under Irish law. 

Your Rights Information Service
Call 01 858 3000 or Lo call 1 890 245545
Office hours are Mon – Fri: 9 am–1 pm and 2 pm–5 pm

National Ploughing Championships–video highlights


Commission Update
September 2019


Hear from Chief Commissioner Emily Logan on the Commission's latest meeting on our work on racial discrimination, reasonable accommodation and discriminatory advertising.


Grants 2019
Human rights and equality grants 2019 announced

  Human Rights & Equality Grant Scheme 2019 Photo Fennell Photography 2019

The Commission has announced the 28 organisations to be supported under its Human Rights and Equality Grants Scheme 2019.

Now in its fourth year, the 2019 grant programme awards small grants of up to €6,000 and general grants of up to €20,000 to support civil society organisations in Ireland promoting the development of economic and social rights across three thematic areas: housing/accommodation, health and decent work. 

Pictured above are the 2019 grant recipients who took part in an information day themed on effective participation of rights holders. 


Human Rights and Equality Grant Scheme web page
Commission media release–2019 grant recipients


Grants spotlight
All Together in Dignity–Ireland

Since 2016, under its grant scheme, the Commission has supported 108 human rights and equality projects across Ireland including research programmes, training or resource activities, conferences or events and cultural initiatives.

All Together in Dignity (ATD) Ireland who work with people affected by chronic poverty recieved a grant in 2018 to support an initiative advancing the introduction of a socio-economic ground in Irish and European equality legislation. From January to September 2019, ATD carried out a project exploring the issue of socio-economic discrimination in Irish public services and in every day life. This project collected stories from people with lived experience of poverty to illustrate the ways in which respect, dignity, participation, inclusion and equality are experienced when availing of public services. 
ATD Ireland–Does it only happen to me?
newsletter quotes_as

Disability rights focus
Commission welcomes South African Human Rights Commission 


The Commission welcomed a travelling delegation from the South African Human Rights Commission exploring best practice when establishing an Independent Monitoring Mechanism. 

Members of our Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee, made up of a majority of people with disabilities, spoke about their part in supporting the Commission to carry out its formal role in monitoring Ireland’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Following visiting our offices, the South African Commission travelled from Dublin to meet with the Spanish Ombudsman in Madrid and then to Brussels to meet the EU Monitoring Framework including delegates from the EU Parliament; EU Disability Forum; the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and EU office of the Ombudsman.

South African Human Rights Commission–video interview

Student bursaries
10 human rights and equality student bursaries awarded


As part of our work in promoting the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, the Commission has announced the ten recipients of the 2019 Student Bursary Scheme. 

Recipients of the scheme stem from a diverse set of organisations including: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; An Garda Síochána; TUSLA; Mayo County Council; The Office of Government Procurement; Threshold; NASC, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre; St Patrick's Mental Health Services and the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

The aim of this bursary is to contribute towards building participants’ skills to advance implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in public bodies.

Student Bursary Scheme web page

Public Sector Duty
Full house for September implementation event 


The Commission held an information event on its recently-published guidance for public bodies on Implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty.  

Michael Burke of Cork City Council gave a keynote speech detailing the Council's experience implementing the Duty during its pilot phase. 

Dedicated Public Sector Duty website - guidance, information sessions, FAQ & case studies
Case Study: Cork City Council implementing the Public sector Equality and Human Rights Duty
Implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty [English]
Dualgas na hEarnála Poiblí um Chomhionannas agus Cearta an Duine a chur i bhfeidhm [Gaeilge]


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