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Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission publish new guidance for Public Bodies – Public Sector Human Rights and Equality Duty

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) have published a guide to assist public bodies in implementing their statutory obligation to provide equality of opportunity, eliminate discrimination and protect human rights, known as the Public Sector Human Rights and Equality Duty.
Under section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, public bodies are required to set out in its strategic plan an assessment of the human rights and equality issues relevant to its function including plans and actions to be put in place to address any issues identified. In addition, a public body must report on developments and achievements in its annual report.
The guide outlines a three-step approach that a public body can take to bring a human rights focus to their work:

  1. Assess - Identify equality and human rights issues relevant to the purpose and functions of an organisation,
  2. Address - Implement actions to address equality and human rights issues.
  3. Report - Report on developments and achievements arising from implementation of the Duty in a manner that is accessible to the public.

It gives clarification on the legal duties on public bodies to promote and protect human rights. It also gives clear actions and guidelines on how to tackle each stage of the implementation process, providing resources and links to further information.
In addition, the IHREC has undertaken six pilot projects on the process of implementing the Duty with two government agencies, two local authorities, a higher education institution and a non-governmental organisation. These pilot projects are outlined in video case studies on their website.

For further details on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission implementation guide and to view the video case studies, please click here.

Alternatively, if you would like to learn more about how to implement your public sector duty please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on 01-4151285 or e-mail [email protected].