New human rights blueprint will enhance Ireland’s foreign policy

24 January 2014

Legal rights group FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) today welcomed the launch of a new initiative to help Ireland uphold basic human rights standards in its foreign policy work.

The ‘Galway Platform on Human Rights in Irish Foreign Policy’ document sets out the basic human rights standards and practices by which Ireland should be held to account in its dealings with other countries, as well as in its activities at EU and UN levels.

“FLAC is very proud to be part of this very timely and valuable initiative,” said FLAC Director General Noeline Blackwell. “Just as much as its fiscal and financial obligations, Ireland must fulfil its human rights duties and this document will be very useful in understanding what these duties are and how they can be met. For example, Ireland is regularly examined by the UN on a range of human rights targets – undoubtedly the Platform will be most helpful in meeting these.”

FLAC is a signatory to the Platform as well as 22 other national and local human rights organisations and academic bodies.  The initiative has been convened and coordinated by the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway.



Editors’ notes:

  1. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) is a human rights organisation which exists to promote equal access to justice for all. FLAC is an NGO that relies on a combination of statutory funding, contributions from the legal professions and donations from individuals and grant-making foundations to support its work.
  2. FLAC offers basic legal information through its telephone information line (1890 350 250) and free legal advice through its network of 80 volunteer evening advice centres. It also campaigns on a range of issues including personal debt, fairness in social welfare law, public interest law and civil legal aid.
  3. The Galway Platform has been signed by: Amnesty International Ireland, Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at University College Cork, Centre for Disability Law & Policy at National University of Ireland, Galway, Children's Rights Alliance, Community Workers’ Co-operative, Department of Applied Social Studies, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), Front Line Defenders, Gay & Lesbian Equality Network, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Irish Penal Reform, Irish Refugee Council, Liberia Solidarity Group, National Assembly of the Baha’is of Ireland, National Women's Council of Ireland, Northern Ireland Human Rights Consortium, Pavee Point, Social Justice Ireland, Trocaire, University College Dublin, Human Rights Network and Women’s Human Rights Alliance.
  4. You can download the platform document in full as a PDF from the FLAC website or from the Irish Centre for Human Rights site.