Equality and Social Justice

1. Race Relations Act

Labour Youth notes with concern the lack of legislation on discrimination on the basis of race, outside of employment. Labour Youth calls on the government to introduce a Race Relations Act that will outlaw discrimination on the basis of race, colour, nationality and national origin in the fields of employment, the provision of goods and services, education and public functions. Labour Youth also calls on the government to set up a Commission to review existing legislation and hear appeals.

2. Sex Work

 Labour Youth calls for the decriminalisation of sex work to allow for the regulation of the industry.Labour Youth proposes that:

  • All sex workers, as well as brothels which employ a limited number of workers, be decriminalised.

  • Sex workers have the right to organise, are facilitated to form unions and are integrated into existing industrial relations structures and processes such as Joint Labour Committees.

  • The Health Service is trained on the issues sex workers face in regard to sexually transmitted infection and mental health services.

3.Abolish Direct Provision

Labour Youth recognises the Dire conditions in direct provision, and the deleterious effects it has on asylum seekers resident there. Therefore Labour Youth requests the Labour party to undertake a campaign to end direct provision and secure the rights of asylum seekers while their applications for Asylum are being processed.

Labour Youth notes that several actions may be taken immediately to make the Direct Provision program and asylum-seekers’ application process more humane, namely:

  • The establishment of an effective community sponsorship program comprised of government officials, civil society, and relevant groups to develop the architecture and safeguards necessary to ensure that it is underpinned by human rights and community development principles;

  • An amendment of the International Protection Act 2015 to broaden the definition of family reunification to include dependant family members and those who perform a similar role to a nuclear family member, as well as to ensure the best interests of a child or to ensure the right to asylum;

  • A guarantee of the right to work, with no restrictions on profession and the right to self-employment, to anyone who has waited six months for an asylum decision to be granted;

  • The introduction of a regularisation, time bound scheme, with transparent criteria, to allow undocumented people in Ireland to regain a stable immigration status;

  • The introduction of an integration program to ensure that when people leave the Direct Provision program and when it is disbanded completely, that those currently operating within it will not be left vulnerable and marginalised when navigating the Irish system for themselves.

Labour Youth calls on the Labour Party to make every immediate effort for these policies to be enacted, while acknowledging that the existence of Direct Provision program is, in itself, an abuse of human rights and must be abolished at the earliest possible opportunity.

4. Child Citizenship Rights

Labour Youth recognises the right of every child born in the Republic of Ireland to citizenship of the Republic of Ireland, in alignment with Article 7 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), in order to combat statelessness and the trauma that deportation can have on young children.