Human Rights and Equality Grant Awardees 2019

28 organisations have been awarded funding for projects under the Commission’s Human Rights and Equality Grants Scheme 2019.

Now in its fourth year, the 2019 grant programme has awarded 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.

The Commission welcomed 112 applications to the grant scheme from across the country.

The Human Rights and Equality Grants Scheme is part of the Commission’s statutory power to provide grants to promote human rights and equality under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.

The successful projects are outlined below:

Housing / Accommodation

Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group

Strengthening Travellers capacity to advocate for accommodation rights

This project aims to provide training on accommodation rights to Travellers in the Greater Blanchardstown area and to enable them to provide confident peer support to other Travellers in the area on their rights.

Focus Ireland

Partner organisations: Threshold, De Paul

Ensuring a home for all

This is a collaborative policy research project to explore how the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty can be better used to tackle the inequality and discrimination faced by migrant households, in terms of accessing housing, and homeless services. It aims to present findings that will enhance their experience and outcomes for homeless migrants interacting with State and NGO services.

Galway Simon Community

Partner organisation: Cope Galway

Amplifying voices

Galway Simon Community are leading the development of a framework in partnership with COPE Galway to strengthen the capacity of homeless people to advocate for and vindicate their rights. This will enable those experiencing homelessness to engage with statutory agencies and public bodies to ensure obligations under the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty are met.

Garryowen Development Project

Partner organisations: Southill Hub, Our Lady of Lourdes Community Services Group, Limerick City CDP, NOVAS, and Community Law & Mediation Centre

Human Rights and Homelessness in Limerick

This collaborative project aims to raise awareness of homelessness and housing as a community and human rights issue by commissioning a report on Homelessness and Human Rights in Limerick taking into account the obligations set out in the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty and the lived experience of people. The findings will presented to a seminar of people affected by homelessness and inadequate housing. Follow-up training will be provided to community organisations and groups on housing rights and engagement with local State agencies will take place.

Inclusion Ireland

Promoting the Right to Housing for People with Disabilities

A working group of people with intellectual disabilities will lead the development of a policy paper on housing, informed by an equality and rights analysis, and incorporating the voice of people with disabilities. The project will lead to accessible resources for people with disabilities to claim their right to housing and a conference to share the learning.

Mercy Law Centre

Overcoming barriers to accessing adequate housing and homeless provision for minority groups

Mercy Law Resource Centre will produce a research report informed by its own case and policy work, setting out the barriers experienced by minority groups in accessing housing and homelessness entitlements and producing a set of positive recommendations for local authorities and Government departments within the context of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty. The report’s findings will be launched at a half-day conference.


Age Action

It’s My Life

Age Action will develop a report on participatory dialogues with older people that will provide an evidence base for two policy position papers, which will apply a human rights and equality perspective to the provisions of the forthcoming Home Care Scheme (home support) and the implementation of Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015.

All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care

Partner organisations: Sue Ryder UK, Irish Hospice Foundation

Human Rights in Palliative and End-of-life Care for Health Care Professions

This collaborative project aims to create understanding of the human rights challenges associated with palliative care. It will carry out research to identify competence needs of health care professionals in palliative care on human rights and autonomy in shared and ethical decision-making at the end of life. It will deliver workshops to health care professionals based on the needs identified in collaboration with people with palliative care needs and carers. An instructor guide and video resource will also be developed for future training delivery. 

AMAL – Muslim Women’s Group

A Mother is Born Too

AMAL will carry out qualitative research from a human rights and equality perspective on the barriers faced by Muslim women in accessing maternity services in Ireland with the goal of producing findings that inform AMAL’s responses to the issues raised and the work of health service providers.


Mental Health Peer Advocates for Minority Ethnic Communities

This project aims to reduce inequalities in the area of access to mental health services and mental health outcomes for minority ethnic communities. It will build the capacity of these communities to address the issues of accessible mental health services, through a community development and human rights training programme for Mental Health Peer Advocates who can support vulnerable individuals from minority ethnic groups, address mental health stigma and support and engage with service providers and policy makers.

Citywide Drugs Campaign

Stigma Awareness Training

This project will address the serious gap in training for health care professionals when engaging with people with experience of drug use. A human rights-based participatory training programme will be developed with people with experience of drug use. It will be piloted with healthcare professionals (co-delivered by people with experience of drug use). A revised approach will inform the development of a train-the trainers’ model and resources.

European Anti-Poverty Network

A Community Approach to developing Health Inequalities

This project will focus on the right to health and strengthening how national health strategies address health inequalities informed by conversations with communities and groups who experience or are most vulnerable to health inequalities. These conversations will be complied into a report, the learning shared at a roundtable and presented to health policy-makers.

Ifrah Foundation

Outreach to Somali Community on FGM

The aim of the project is to increase the number of women from the Somali Community accessing free medical and psychological care for Female Genital Mutilation. The Ifrah Foundation will produce a leaflet on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), in Somali, outlining the services available at the Irish Family Planning Association’s free FGM Treatment Service. It will also train volunteer ambassadors to increase awareness among Somali women of the negative health consequences of FGM, the law in Ireland prohibiting it, and the services available for survivors.

Laois Traveller Action Group

Partner organsations: Offaly Traveller Movement, Longford Community Resources Ltd, Meath Primary Healthcare, Westmeath Community Development Primary Healthcare

Travellers Connecting for Better Services

The aim of this collaborative project is to develop the capacity of 24 Travellers in five counties to facilitate modules on Cultural Awareness and Health Inequalities to services and agencies such as the HSE. These modules will highlight the disparities in Traveller Health and allow services to become more aware and build cultural competency in relation to service delivery and access to information.

Mental Health Reform

Speak Out for Mental Health

Mental Health Reform will deliver the ‘Speak Out for Mental Health’ human rights-based capacity-building training to 30 people who have experience of mental health difficulties and/or family members/supporters. The aim of the project is to empower participants to be able to advocate for improvements in the mental health system.

National Family Support Network

Health Outcomes of Family Members of People who Misuse Drugs or Alcohol

This participatory research project seeks to identify the health needs and outcomes of adult family members of people who misuse drugs/alcohol and to identify the impact of support-based interventions on these outcomes. The research findings will be launched at a seminar and will be used to inform development of human rights based policy and practice, in the context of family support policy and services in Ireland.

National Youth Council of Ireland

Supporting Mental Health of Minority-Ethnic Youth Leaders

NYCI will organise a short residential seminar to support ethnic-minority youth leaders to overcome the challenges they face in relation to their own mental health, as they respond to the diverse needs of their community, and the difficulties they face particularly relating to racial discrimination.


Speaking from the Margins too

TENI will conduct a research project that will re-examine the mental health and well-being of the community of trans and gender non-conforming people in Ireland building on research carried out in 2013. The research will make policy recommendations for the development of legislation, policy and practice in relation to mental health services for Trans people from a human rights and equality perspective.

Youth Work Ireland

Young People’s Rights to Sexual Health Information and Education

Youth Work Ireland will organise a national youth conference to raise awareness of the rights of rights of young people to accurate and inclusive sexual health education and information. The conference will give a voice to young people on these issues and have a particular focus on the sexual health rights of young LGBTI+ people, and young people with disabilities. The report and recommendations of the conference will be promoted and inform a wider communications campaign.

Decent work

Community Action Network

Public Procurement and the Right to Work

CAN will carry out a human rights-based research project that will engage procurers, contractors, beneficiaries and communities who are part of its Community Benefits Forum projects. It will document the successes and challenges of the inclusion of a social clause in public procurement contracts for the purpose for making jobs available to people far from the labour market and make recommendations in the context of EU fundamental rights law and the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Public Sector Duty. 

Doras Luimní

Employment Training for People from a Migrant Background

Doras Luimní will undertake research to analyse what employment supports are most needed and most effective for supporting people in the direct provision system, and for other eligible migrants to secure decent work in Ireland. The research findings aim to contribute to the development of more tailored employment supports that are evidence-based and informed by best practice.

Early Childhood Ireland

Pathways to Better Prospects: Delivering decent work, terms and conditions for early childhood workers.

This research project will undertake an analysis of the professionalization, unionisation and formalisation of pay & conditions within other sectors in Ireland.  It will document a baseline of where the early childhood care sector is currently at and will identify key milestones to ensure staff have stable and secure employment and take into account the role of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty. The research findings will be presented to national and international stakeholders at a conference.

Irish National Teachers Organisation

The lived workplace experience of LGBT+ teachers in Irish schools

This project aims to highlight the right to equal opportunity and treatment of LGBT+ teachers in their workplace through the expression of the concerns, tensions and subtle discrimination on sexual orientation grounds through the medium of a docufilm. The film will be used in training and awareness events to engage all education stakeholders, most particularly school leaders/principals and school patrons, as well as to galvanise the support of other teachers.

Irish Organisation of the Unemployed

Accessing Decent Work

The INOU’s project will raise awareness of the right to decent work. It will consist of two regional workshops followed by a national seminar, which will facilitate dialogue on decent work and build people’s awareness and understanding of their right to decent work and how it relates to other rights. The learning will feed into the development and implementation of policies underpinning activation and employment services.

Kilkenny Traveller Community Movement

Partner organisation: Kilkenny Leader Partnership

Traveller Access to Employment

This project will carry out research to identify the scope and root cause of Traveller unemployment in Kilkenny city & county, in particular to map the typical journey through the educational/training process of members of the community and to identify possible weaknesses in this process. This will allow the study to identify possible long-term strategies towards improving access to employment for the Traveller community in Kilkenny and develop a long-term strategy to achieve this.

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland

Decent work: Promoting the progression of migrant workers in low paid work and their horizontal integration into the labour market

MRCI’s research project aims to address discrimination faced by migrant workers and promote increased labour market integration by better understanding access, retention and progression routes for migrant works and documenting their needs. The findings will be presented to employer stakeholders and the State at a roundtable.

National Women’s Council of Ireland

Workplace Equality, Economic Security and Decent Work for All Women

NWCI’s project aims expand access to legal protections for women in the workplace. It will establish a dedicated legal clinic on a pilot basis to advise women in matters directly related to employment discrimination and collate information on the issues they face, draw out key learnings, as well as commission legal research to identify gaps in employment law. The results will inform a Working Women’s Bill of Rights to be launched at a closing event.

The National Platform of Self-Advocates

Improving Access to Paid Employment for People with Intellectual Disability

The aim of this participatory research project is to support people with intellectual disabilities to guide, develop and deliver a research report with the support of a lead researcher. The report will establish the barriers to paid employment for people with intellectual disabilities from the perspective of both the rights holders and employers in three specific industries: retail, information technology and hospitality. It will also seek what solutions can best address these barriers and inform public policy and practice.