Issue 31

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Human Rights Commission, Equality Authority

Ivanna Bacik (Lab, Dublin University) demanded a debate on the proposed merger of the Equality Authority and the Human Rights Commission (Seanad Eireann, Debates, 21st March 2011, 349).  Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) were apprehensive about the way it was being approached, she said: ‘There is a real concern that the merged body would retain the powers and functions that both bodies had previously, as well as ensuring sufficient staffing and resources are provided to the new merged body.  It is also important we ensure it is independent in its functioning and accountable to the Oireachtas rather than to the minister or the executive.’