Ireland’s Human Rights Obligation: overseas aid

20/11/2010 at 8:08 am Leave a comment

It’s official now: Ireland is looking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue package for the State, running into tens of billions of euro. It is clear that there will be significant changes needed in the way Ireland is run.

For most people in Ireland, the key concern is now what this will mean. Will it be a case, as argued by Social Justice Ireland, that the corporate sector will be protected while services for the poor, the elderly and the weak get slashed? Will the difficulties the country is in mean that “we simply cannot afford” many of the things we thought Ireland was truly committed to?

We won’t know until 7 December, the day the Government is set to announce Budget 2011.

That same week, the Government is launching the formal consultation process for the Universal Periodic Review of its Human Rights performance. (Like with so many Human Rights instruments, the true importance of this event is well hidden behind an awful and uninspiring name!) On 10 December, the Government will host the 11th NGO Forum on Human Rights (see here for last year’s Forum), which will kick off a public consultation process where members of the public and civil society organisations can comment on Ireland’s performance in Human Rights terms.

Human rights know no borders

Obviously, most of the discussion will focus on the ability of the Irish State to fulfil its duties towards its citizens. And we will be arguing that human rights are universal, belonging to every human being, no matter where in the world, and that human rights obligations know no borders. The State has a duty to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of people in Ireland, and elsewhere.

Traditionally, human rights activists and lawyers would have focused on a State’s obligation to look after the rights of their own citizens. But international cooperation, and international assistance, for the the fulfilment of human rights is an obligation for all states..

While states contest the existence of a legal obligation to provide international financial assistance (as opposed to the moral or political obligation), the status of an obligation to “do no harm” – to respect and protect rights beyond borders – has been consistently reaffirmed.

As the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has stated categorically, “State parties must respect and protect economic, social and cultural rights of children in all countries with no exceptions.States have human rights obligations not only for what happens “at home” but also for any action [or inaction] that has effect outside the territory of a state, whether in a neighbouring country or a country thousands of miles away.

All states are obliged to cooperate with the aim of not just protecting, but actively ensuring the gradual and full realisation of human rights for everyone, everywhere.

So a civil society groups around Ireland prepare to make their views about Ireland’s human rights track record known, we will be advocating for our national obligation to the wider community of peoples.

(see also this blog post about Ireland’s overseas aid)

The Government knows that the Universal Periodic Review is a very important mechanism for holding UN member states to account. Ireland needs to take the process seriously, and NGOs must seize the opportunity to bring their issues to the attention of the UN.

Our contribution to the process will be very simple: Ireland’s overseas aid programme is not just of very high quality, it is also a way for Ireland to live up to its obligations to the international community.

 

 

< Related articles: This press release and the Dóchas submission to the UPR process. >

Entry filed under: Government. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

If ‘charity begins at home’ why are we committing to overseas aid? Hunger is much more than not having enough to eat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 214 other followers

Archives

Dóchas on Twitter

The World's Best News - images

One of the most important graphs. Ever.

http://ourworldindata.org/data/health/maternal-mortality/ Today is World Food Day.

A day to celebrate that the days of truly enormous famines are over: http://blog.concern.net/global-hunger-index-2015-mapping-the-worlds-hunger Meet "Chocolate Mamas", producers of chocolate in #Tanzania, creating Tanzanian jobs. 
While #cocoa is grown in West Africa and Asia,
most #chocolate (the finished product) is made in Europe or the USA.

Meet Jaki Kweka, who is trying to change that. By creating protected areas and national parks and by limiting the spread of soy bean cultivation, Brazil has managed to drastically reduce the amount of rain forest being cleared.

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/deforestation-in-the-amazon-has-plummeted-almost-90pt/ Costa Rica, #Afghanistan, China, #India and Albania are all embracing renewable energy sources.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/sep/15/five-developing-countries-ditching-fossil-fuels-china-india-costa-rica-afghanistan-albania?CMP=share_btn_tw Social change needs empowered citizens, and empowered citizens need occasional encouragement.

Great to hear that we're not the only ones who believe in the power of positive news! 50,000 rice farmers in #IvoryCoast are now working with better seeds, improving food security in the West African country.

As a result, harvests have increased.

Source: World Bank, photo: Jbdodane / CC BY Sub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system starts operations. 
As Ethiopians celebrate their New Year, they also prepare to mark the beginning of operations of a tram system in the #Ethiopian capital #AddisAbaba. 
Read more: http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-09-20-sub-saharan-africas-first-light-rail-system-starts-operationsyou-guessed-it-in-ethiopia Going Mobile in #Malawi”. A mobile phone information service established last year to provide timely information to rural poor farmers in a southern African country, has been used nearly half a million times since its launch.

Established in Malawi by Gorta-Self Help Africa last year, the ‘321’ voice-activated service provides subscribers to the country’s largest mobile phone network with farm information and advice that they can access at the push of a button. And it’s all free. Read more at http://dochas.ie/sites/default/files/The-Worlds-Best-News-2015_0.pdf 10,000 copies of "The World's Best News" were distributed all over #ireland today!

See how The Irish Times described our newspaper, and click the link to read all the articles online!

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/inside-out/have-you-read-the-world-s-best-news-1.2355806

Visitors Map

Map

Dóchas Photos

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and members of the YMCA youth group.

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins at the 2016 Irish Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals at Croke Park hosted by Dóchas

More Photos

%d bloggers like this: