Marking International Human Rights Day, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has today acknowledged the incredible work of frontline services who have continued to protect, support and uphold the rights of our most vulnerable citizens throughout the pandemic.
Teachta McDonald said:
“Over the last nine months, frontline services have faced unprecedented challenges in delivering care and supports to vulnerable people. Their ability to adapt and innovate ensured a critical level of care was provided throughout the public health restrictions.
“Services provided to people with disabilities continued despite the significant drop in revenue raising ability for voluntary and not for profit providers.
“Overnight, many organisations had to move supports online or over the phone and in-person services had to be redesigned to meet public health restrictions.
“Demands on domestic violence services increased on average by 25% yet throughout the pandemic staff have worked the extra hours needed day and daily to ensure victims and their children receive the support and accommodation they need to secure their safety.
“Many of these organisations rely on fundraising to meet the full operational costs of their services. Most deliver services not provided by state agencies.
“Despite all of these organisational, staffing and financial challenges they have put the needs and rights of those they care for and support first at every stage of the public health crisis.
“Government now has a responsibility to ensure that frontline services are fully funded and resourced and that its international human rights obligations are fully incorporated into Irish law. Services and those who rely on them deserve nothing less.
“The hope and aspirations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must continue to be upheld and built upon.”