Dáil Éireann - Volume 549 - 27 February, 2002

Written Answers. - EU Conventions.

  88. Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will arrange for the State to ratify Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7071/02]

  Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights was signed by my colleague Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy O'Donoghue, on 4 November 2000 at the Euro[1167] pean Ministerial Conference on Human Rights in Rome.

  This protocol prohibits discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, or status. In addition, it provides that no one should be discriminated against by any public authority on any ground such as those described above.

  Ireland has a comprehensive anti-discrimination legal code in place since the enactment of the Employment Equality and Equal Status Acts which prohibit discrimination on nine separate grounds. It has also put in place an equality infrastructure which offers redress for individuals to pursue complaints in regard to discrimination experienced on any of these grounds. Ireland has, therefore, already provided in national law for many of the provisions of Protocol 12.

  There are ten ratifications needed for this protocol to come into force. Georgia is the only state to have ratified the protocol to date. The primary responsibility for the ratification of Protocol 12 is within the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and I understand that the protocol is under examination in that Department.