Testimonies are published under the responsibility of the author. They are subject to validation: these will be published only if they comply, in form and substance the spirit of this day as defined in the International Charter for October 17.
Today is a unique and important event to highlight the effects of poverty and discrimination experienced by people in their daily lives. It’s a stark reminder that human dignity must always be preserved.
I’m here today representing the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. It’s going to be a new public body that will be set up on the 1st November. And our job is to protect and promote human rights and equality here in Ireland and to ensure that the dignity and worth of each person is respected.
Poverty is a denial of human rights. Poverty denies people their human rights because it directly undermines their human dignity. If poverty and inequality that lead to it are tackled , then there’s a much better chance that the human rights of people experiencing poverty will be strengthened and better respected.
To ensure that no body is ever left behind it’s more important than ever that people in poverty themselves are seen as the first defenders of human rights. We need to hear their voices, and we need to hear their experiences. And to do that, as I believe Liam said earlier, how can we expect people to exercise their rights if they don’t know about their human rights. And that will be part of our job at the Commission which is to try and educate the public about human rights. Those testimonies today are proof that we should respect this voice and support people in the exercise of their own rights.
As we share in a spirit of humanity across the world let us never give up on the fight to seek solutions to marginalisation and poverty.