Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns believes that Irish citizens would overwhelmingly support a referendum to enshrine economic, social and cultural rights in the Constitution.
Speaking in the Dáil today in support of the 37th Amendment of the Constitution (Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) Bill 2018, Holly said:
“Economic, social and cultural rights help ensure a better quality of life for people. They guarantee basic dignities, including workers’ rights, protection for families and recognition of the importance of cultural activities. These rights are a legal and moral tool to fight endemic injustices in our society: to address homelessness; to cut healthcare waiting lists; to end direct provision; to give all people with disabilities the dignity they deserve; and to seriously respond to the climate crisis.
“Constitutional recognition of the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights can help resolve the many injustices that we face in Ireland today.
“An enshrining of cultural rights would help give our arts and heritage the support they deserve. It would value our traditions and creative expression and assist artists and musicians in making a living in Ireland.
“Recent changes to the Constitution, such as marriage equality and abortion rights, have demonstrated that the people of Ireland are ahead of the Government. They voted in very significant numbers to ensure a more progressive and equitable society. I believe that when the question of economic, social and cultural rights is put to the people, it will pass in a similar fashion.
“I hope the Government parties respect our citizens and democracy enough to make this happen.”
January 27, 2021