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A Human Rights approach to tackling Poverty highlighted in Newry

16 May 2014

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Designate and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission are today holding a conference to highlight the importance of human rights in tackling poverty and social inequality.

“A Human Rights Approach to Tackling Poverty and Social Inequality: An All Island Perspective” brings together experts from across the UK, Ireland and Council of Europe to discuss issues such as the impact of austerity on vulnerable groups, the nature and experience of poverty and social inequality, and the role of the business sector in tackling poverty.

NIHRC Interim Chair John Corey said: “Food poverty, inadequate housing and debt are not just problems to be addressed as a matter of human decency – the responsibility to address them is rooted in international human rights obligations.

“We hope that this conference will help highlight specific issues of poverty and social inequality on the island of Ireland, and contribute to tackling these issues by applying human rights standards and approaches.”

IHRC Acting Chair David Joyce said: “In times of economic crisis, human rights have to be safeguarded. People and communities across the island of Ireland are facing increasing levels of deprivation, exacerbated by the downturn and austerity policies.

“Today we are discussing how a human rights approach can support the development of policies, services and resource allocation that can lead to better outcomes for people and communities experiencing poverty and social inequality.”

ENDS

Further information:

For further information please contact Alice Neeson on: alice.neeson@nihrc.org or 0771 7731873 (mobile).

Notes to editors

1. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the
Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.

2. The conference is being held in the Canal Court, Newry with guest speakers including Bishop John McAreavey, the Bishop of Donore; Lauri Sivonen, Advisor in the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights; Grainia Long, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Housing; Diana Skelton, Deputy Director General of ATD Fourth World; Paul Mac Flynn, Economist, Nevin Economic Research Institute; Michelle Murphy, Research and Policy Analyst, Social Justice Ireland; Sinead Keenan, Project Co-ordinator, Healthy Food for All; Professor Aoife Nolan, School of
Law, University of Nottingham; Nicola Browne, Director of Policy, Participation and Practice of Rights Project; and Ursula O’Hare, Deputy Director, Law Centre.