Your candidates are looking for your vote. There’s never been a better time to get them to commit to human rights.
At ICCL we’ve identified 8 crucial but straightforward steps that a new government could take to advance human rights.
Will you join us in asking them to commit to real reform? You can support each ask individually, or all 8.
1. Bring in Safe Zones
Safe zones allow people to access healthcare in private, as is their right.
Last year, the vast majority of us compassionately voted to allow women and pregnant people make their own health decisions, in safety, privacy and with dignity.
The last government committed to safe zones but didn’t deliver. Will you tell the next government you want safe zones?
2. Outlaw Hate Crime
There is no law to deal with attacks motivated by hatred in Ireland.
Hate crime legislation would deal with attacks which target people of colour; migrants and asylum seekers; women; Travellers; the LGBTQI+ community; disabled people and anyone else who is a target of attacks just because of who they are.
3. Scrap the Public Services Card
Even after the Data Protection Commissioner told them key aspects of the card were illegal, the last government dug its heels in and continued to roll it out.
Our information and data is valuable, and not just to us. Will you tell your candidates we won’t accept being forced to hand it over in exchange for services we’re already entitled to?
4. Establish a new Police Ombudsman
The Commission on the Future of Policing recommended that a new Independent Office of the Police Ombudsman should replace the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). ICCL supports this call for a fully independent ombudsman.
5. Prevent Torture Behind Closed Doors
Ireland is one of the only European countries which doesn’t have independent inspections of all places of detention. Allowing independent inspections all places of detention, including places like nursing homes and direct provision centres, would help protect some of the most vulnerable in our society from human rights violations and mistreatment including torture.
We’re asking candidates to ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and immediately establish a National Preventive Mechanism to prevent torture.
6. Establish an Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
The rights of victims of all crimes must be respected by all agencies in the criminal justice process. That includes the gardai, the Director of Public Prosecution, and all support services in line with the Victims’ Rights Act 2017.
Victims of crime should also be able to access a quick, clear and independent complaints procedure. This requires an Ombudsman for Victims’ Rights within the justice system.
7. Outlaw Image-Based Sexual Abuse
There are no specific laws to deal with image-based sexual abuse, commonly but incorrectly referred to as “revenge porn”, in Ireland.
The Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act could easily be amended to outlaw the creation and/or sharing of private sexual images without consent. The Act should be amended so that a pattern of harassment does not have to be shown and single instances can be prosecuted.
8. Support Civil Society
The Electoral Act was intended to stop foreign money impacting on Irish elections. But because it’s so badly written (so badly that it’s actually against EU law) it can also be used against voluntary or small organisations who are campaigning for progressive social change.
Many people running voluntary organisations are so afraid they’ll be prosecuted under the Act that they refuse to accept donations of more than €100. That has a serious impact on what they can achieve.
We’re asking candidates to support the Electoral Amendment (Civil Society Freedom) Bill 2019.
OR you can support all of ICCL’s 8 asks
If you want to support all of the above calls, you can also let your candidate know you support our Election Manifesto.
Be ready when they call to your door!
Print out ICCL’s 8 asks and have them ready for when your candidates come knocking.
Thanks for taking action! Our Freedom is Fragile, but together we can protect it.