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Constitutional Convention is ‘critical opportunity’ to examine human rights

Resource type: News

The Irish Examiner | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

More than 20 leading rights organisations believe Ireland’s constitution is out-dated in terms of protecting the fundamental human rights of Irish people.

The groups have joined forces ahead of the forthcoming Constitutional Convention, highlighting in a letter to the Taoiseach the need to examine equal access to healthcare and housing, which they say is a basic human right.

They are arguing for a review of the Constitution in regards to the challenges many people are facing in the current economic situation.

“We are calling on Government to give the convention the mandate, and capacity, to create a constitution that is representative of Ireland today and into the future,” said a url=http://]statement from Amnesty International Ireland[/url].

“The convention must be a space where Ireland’s international obligations to the human rights of each person are recognised, understood by political and civil society stakeholders, and ultimately written into Bunreacht na hÉireann.”

Among the groups also supporting the campaign are Focus Ireland, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, the Irish Council for Civil Lilberties, the Irish Penal Reform Truster, Older and Bolder, Pavee Point and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Executive Director with Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, said people need to be protected now more than ever.

“The Programme for Government says that the aim of the convention is to ensure our Constitution can face the challenges of the 21st century,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“At a time when we have less money available to deliver essential services and difficult decisions have to be made about how we spend our limited resources, protecting rights such as health, housing and adequate income has never been more important.”

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