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Policy issues concerning Human Rights

The 30th of July is World Day against Trafficking in Persons. A day designed by the UN to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights”.

Today is International Day of Older Persons.  To mark this occasion, we consider a presentation given at our Annual Social Policy Conference last year by Dr. Diarmuid O'Shea on Ageing in Ireland - A Measure of Succes and why we can lead the way!  This is an extract only. Dr. O'Shea's full presentation is available to view or to download here.

A report published by the CSO in July 2019 found that 17.7% of people in Ireland faced some form of discrimination in the 2 years prior to interview - that’s 859,689 people.  Ireland committed to end racial discrimination when it ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination in 2000.  However, as this latest data show, we have some way to go.

Climate change will have the greatest impact on those living in poverty, who have the least capacity to protect themselves.  Yet they are responsible for just a fraction of global emissions.

Next week, Social Justice Ireland and Trócaire will co-host a hustings event for the Dublin constituency ahead of the European Elections on May 24th. Ahead of this, we have formulated a joint policy platform, with Five Key Policy Asks. They are:

  1. The Elimination of Poverty
  2. The Championing of Climate Justice
  3. Policy Coherence on the SDGs
  4. Delivery on the European Pillar of Social Rights
  5. Supporting an international treaty on Business and Human Rights

COVID-19 has seen the introduction of unprecedented restrictions on movement, with powers of detention bestowed on medical officers and Gardaí.  There are also record numbers of people working from home with remote access to personal data that would otherwise only ever be accessed on work premises. 

In Episode 11 of our Interview series, Colette Bennett, Research and Policy Analyst chats (remotely) to Doireann Ansbro and Liz Farries of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties on the emergency measures legislation, the data protection implications of the crisis and what this all means from a civil liberties perspective.

In the most recent, and high-profile, mortgage sale, Permanent TSB this week announced its intention to sell 14,000 non-performing mortgage loans.  Some commentators have suggested that, instead of selling these loans, that individual borrowers be allowed to ‘make a deal’ with the lender to buy the loan at the intended sale price.  However, this solution is too simplistic. 

Current welfare systems were not designed to adapt to the challenges presented by automation and globalisation and are not fit for purpose. That's the view of a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute in the UK published to coincide with the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week. The institute argues that governments should look to Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiments around the world as they seek to address the risks posed by large-scale changes to the labour market while retaining the benefits of trade and technological progress.

31 per cent of working-age people with a disability are employed, which is less than half the rate of those without a disability, according to Social Justice Ireland’s latest Quarterly Employment Monitor.

Social Justice Ireland's recent book entitled Basic Income: Radical Utopia or Practical Solution? has received an award for original work in Irish Fiscal Policy from Ireland's Foundation for Fiscal Studies, Fiscal.ie.

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