Friday 20 April 2012: For immediate action
The New Human Rights and Equality Commission Must Not Leave Families Out in Cold
Statement by Tanya Ward, Chief Executive
The Children’s Rights Alliance today broadly welcomes the Working Group Report on the new Human Rights and Equality Commission and in particular the report’s recommendation that the Commission should take human rights legal actions of strategic value.
“Most marginalised and vulnerable families do not have the resources to consult a lawyer meaning access to justice is effectively the preserve of the privileged. Ensuring that the new body can support strategic human rights and equality cases is critical. However the new body must also be tasked with providing support to people in vulnerable situations who do not have access to other forms of support including legal aid.
“Previously the Equality Authority has acted in many successful cases, where disabled and Traveller children have been discriminated against in educational settings. These cases were not of strategic value but did involve a serious breach of their right to access education. It is imperative that the new body maintains a life-line to families, whose access to legal aid is – at best – limited where there is a serious breach of human rights.”
Other recommendations of note include that the new body should be fully independent from Government and that it should be adequately funded. The Alliance calls on Government to fully implement the recommendations contained within the Working Group Report on the new Human Rights and Equality Commission.
Children’s Rights Alliance
**Tanya Ward is available for interview**
For more information, please contact:
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive
Mob: + 087 653 1069
Note to Editors:
The Working Group Report on the new Human Rights and Equality Commission can be found here: http://bit.ly/Iskloj