MLRC’s written submissions for the UPR
As noted in a previous blog post before Christmas, the UN Universal Periodic Review is taking place in 2016 in relation to Ireland. This review is of countries’ records of compliance with all human rights obligations. In September, MLRC sent its submission to the UN High Commission for Human Rights for the the UN Universal Periodic Review. MLRC’s submission is available here. Among MLRC’s recommendations in the light of this crisis in homelessness, were that the right to housing be protected in Irish law, that civil legal aid be extended to cases of eviction, and that legislative and policy measures be put in place to ensure rent supplement and the new Housing Assistance Payment can meet market rent.
MLRC also submitted to the ICCL Your Rights Right Now stakeholder report, Your Rights Right Now. This report is available here.
MLRC submitted to the Department of Justice, in response to its request for submissions ahead of the UPR, this report is available here. MLRC participated in the consultation held by the Department of Justice on the submissions in November, highlighting the key points of the submission in respect of the vital need for the right to housing and legal aid in cases of eviction from social housing.
MLRC Lobbying for the UPR on the right to housing
MLRC travelled to Geneva in March and in April to lobby Missions on the major gaps in the protection of the right to housing in Ireland. MLRC met there with a number of Missions to discuss the crisis in homelessness, and the causes and effects. MLRC also presented to Missions at a Pre-Session information session for Missions organised by UPR Info, a Geneva based NGO. Over 40 Missions attended that Pre-Session and it was a very useful forum to raise the issues for delegates from a very wide range of countries. The aim of the lobbying is that Missions will be informed as to the major housing and homelessness issues here, the breaches of the international human rights law right to housing that are occurring and the lack of protection of the right to housing. Click here for a copy here for the statement and here for a copy of the presentation given by MLRC at the Pre-Session.
About the UPR
The Universal Periodic Review of Ireland is taking place in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on 11 May. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the Human Rights Council. It gives the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.
The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council itself. It is a cooperative process which, by October 2011, has reviewed the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States.
Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists. The UPR is one of the key elements of the Council which reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur. For more information see http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx