Think Equality Act Equality – Investing in equality at an institutional level is needed to deliver real change - IHREC - Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Think Equality Act Equality – Investing in equality at an institutional level is needed to deliver real change

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Designate (IHREC Designate) Equality Mainstreaming Conference Think Equality Act Equality takes place today in Dublin Castle, Dublin 2. The aim of the conference is to highlight the positive impact on inequality that employers and service providers can have by integrating a focus on equality in the workplace and in the ways services are delivered.

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner (designate) of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (designate) said “Challenging, overcoming, and preventing inequality and breaches of human rights needs commitment at institutional level to deliver real change. The purpose of the conference today is to showcase a number of projects which demonstrate that investing in equality can contribute to systemic change as equality and human rights become part of how an organisation does its business. For example, the Immigrant Council of Ireland worked inpartnership with the public transport sector on an anti-racism project which resulted in Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and Transdev (Luas Operator) publishing anti-racism strategies for their companies.  BeLongTo and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions worked together to produce a video which highlights the negative impact that homophobia and transphobia can have on young people in the workplace.”

Ms Logan said “The equality legislation has provided a useful framework from which to develop the systematic integration of an equality perspective into everyday work so that it becomes embedded into organisational culture. The success of projects supported by the Equality Authority to mainstream equality in the policy, practice and culture of public and private sector organisations offers a solid foundation on which the new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) can work in partnership to build a culture across society that respects the dignity and worth of every person.”

Ms Logan continued “The new IHREC legislation introduces a new positive duty on public bodies. This means a move away from the traditionally expressed equality obligations to avoid discrimination to a positive duty to promote equality and protect human rights. This new duty resonates very well with the work of equality mainstreaming: encouraging organisations to think proactively about policies and practices. The introduction of a positive duty will offer a real opportunity to advance and further embed equality and human rights practices within the public sector and to build a culture of human rights and equality.”

ENDS/

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A spokesperson is available for comment.

For further information, please contact Fidelma Joyce, IHRC.  Mob: 087 783 4939

Notes to Editor

  • Think Equality Act Equality Conference takes place from 10am to 1.30pm today, 14 October, 2014.
  • Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is a new body that will bring together the existing Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority with the purpose of strengthening efforts to promote and protect equality and human rights in Ireland.

  • Equality Legislation

The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011 prohibit discrimination in the workplace and in vocational training.  The Equal Status Acts 2000-2012 prohibit discrimination in the provision of goods and services, accommodation and educational establishments.  Both Acts cover the nine grounds of gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion and membership of the Traveller community. Both Acts also prohibit harassment, sexual harassment and require employers and service providers to provide reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities.

  • Equality Mainstreaming

The equality legislation has provided a useful framework from which to develop equality mainstreaming approaches. Equality Mainstreaming involves the systematic integration of an equality perspective into everyday work in order to change organisational cultures so that an equality perspective becomes embedded. Today’s conference will showcase a number of projects supported by the Equality Authority demonstrating that investing in equality at an institutional level contributes to real change. This is achieved by supporting organisations to put in place policies and procedures to prevent discrimination and accommodate diversity.

  • Information on Projects

Immigrant Council of Ireland worked inpartnership with the public transport sector on an anti-racism project which resulted in Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and Transdev (Luas Operator) publishing anti-racism strategies for their companies.  See Towards an Inclusive Public Transport Service Report http://www.immigrantcouncil.ie/research-publications/publications/851-towards-an-inclusive-public-transport-service

BeLongTo and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions worked together to produce a video which highlights the negative impact that homophobia and transphobia can have on young people in the workplace.  Link to video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfesuLQLnzw

  • Equality in Action

‘Equality in Action’ a publication showcasing equality mainstreaming in the further education and training sector will be launched at the conference. See link to publication http://www.ihrc.ie/publications/list/equality-in-action-oct-2014/

 

 

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