Minister Doherty announces “A Roadmap for Social Inclusion”

The 2019 Social Inclusion Forum took place on the 22nd May in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The Social Inclusion Forum was established by Government as a part of monitoring progress on the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion. The Forum gives people who are directly affected by poverty and social exclusion and those who work with them a voice in the development of policy, and in the ways that the policies are implemented.

At the Forum, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D., informed the participants that she would be bringing a new Roadmap for Social Inclusion to Government and she expects to publish it before the end of July 2019.

Minister Doherty said: “The Roadmap for Social Inclusion will state a clear ambition to achieve the long-held, but as yet unrealised, target of reducing consistent poverty and will go beyond that by making Ireland the most socially inclusive State in the EU. Crucially, the roadmap will set out clear commitments to make this vision a reality.

“This ambition and these commitments will reflect the views of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion and the Community and Voluntary sector groups that work with them. Views were received through a special online public consultation process last year and valuable input was also received at the 2017 and 2018 annual Social Inclusion Forum as well as at our annual pre-budget events.

“The feedback through all of these channels identified a broad range of themes from the assurance of rates of welfare payments, to the provision of good-quality and affordable services, to the importance of supports for engagement with education and the labour market. I’m confident that this new Roadmap for Social Inclusion has captured and responded to the views and concerns that you have expressed.”

Minister Doherty stressed that the forthcoming Roadmap for Social Inclusion would provide leadership, direction and accountability across all Government Departments to ensure its targets were met.

“This will be a plan with clear goals and specific commitments and I intend to publish a Roadmap which explicitly sets out the Department responsible for each commitment and what the timelines are. This will help all of these Departments to understand what they need to do to deliver on these commitments and, just as importantly, it will hold them to account for playing their role in delivering on our shared ambition. Through existing plans, the various Departments are already beginning to sound the right tunes in terms of inclusion but every orchestra needs a conductor and the roadmap will lead the way.”

The Forum also provided space for delegates to discuss their views on the challenges Ireland faces, and the policy responses required. In the run up to the Forum EAPN Ireland and Community Work Ireland held local six meetings to build awareness and participation. These took place in Waterford, Tralee, Dundalk, Dublin, Castlerea in Co. Roscommon and a focus group with community workers.  A summary of the issues arising from these meetings was presented at the Forum and can be downloaded here.

The report of the 2019 Forum – which will be presented formally to Government, and circulated to all Government Departments, to various stakeholders and to the public generally – will provide valuable input as the insights, conclusions and recommendations of the Forum are fed into the policymaking process and are available to all stakeholders.

Statistics on Poverty in Ireland
Progress made towards reaching the national social target for poverty reduction is reported annually in the Social Inclusion Monitor. The latest poverty data available shows improvements in living conditions, income inequality and poverty. The most recent edition of the Social Inclusion Monitor was published in 2019 and is based on 2017 EUSILC data.
Further information is available at: www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Social-Inclusion-Monitor

Social Inclusion Forum
The annual Social Inclusion Forum was established by the Government as part of the structures to monitor and evaluate National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2017. The aim of the Forum is give people who are directly affected by poverty and social exclusion and those who work with them a voice in the development of the policies that directly affect them, and in the ways that policies are implemented. The main conference documents and speaker presentations are usually available online at www.socialinclusion.ie .

Social Inclusion Division
The role of the Social Inclusion Division is to support the Minister and Government in developing and implementing Government strategies for preventing, reducing and ultimately eliminating poverty and social exclusion. The Division also promotes greater social inclusion and social cohesion in collaboration with other stakeholders including, in particular, people experiencing poverty.

European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland (EAPN Ireland)
The European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland is a network of groups and individuals working against poverty. EAPN Ireland is the Irish link to the European Anti-Poverty Network which brings together civil society organisations from across the European Union to put the fight against poverty at the top of the EU, national and local agenda.

Community Work Ireland (CWI)
Established in 1981, Community Work Ireland (formerly the Community Workers’ Co-operative) is a national membership organisation that seeks to promote quality community work as a means of addressing poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and contributing to the creation of a more just, sustainable and equal society.

 

 

 

The New National Action Plan for Social Inclusion could be launched before Easter 2019!

In November 2019, the organisations member of the Community and Voluntary Pillar (including the Community Platform) met representatives of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to discuss the draft contents’ outline of the new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion.

The timeframe for publication of the new Stop Poverrty Plan has been extended is now the end of Q1 or early Q2 of 2019.

There is a long way to go to completing it, with a lot of efforts made and to be made in getting adequate engagement with other Departments.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is also consulting various stakeholders about the possibility changing the poverty target so that the deadline for achieving 2% consistent poverty by 2020 would be postponed to 2028.

The Community and Voluntary Pillar members suggested to keep the emphasis on an ambitious target, with a plan detailing a clear strategy of how it can be achieved.

Ahead of the 2018 Social Inclusion Forum, Have Your Say!

The Social Inclusion Forum 2018 (SIF) will take place on Thursday, 10 May 2018, at the Aviva Stadium Conference Centre, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4. The theme discussed will be: Social Inclusion in a Changing Environment.

This event is part of the institutional framework put in place by the Government to support the development and the Implementation of the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion (NAPinclusion), which was recently updated for the period 2015-2017. Previous Social Inclusion Forum Reports and all Social Inclusion Division Publications can be found here.

The event will provides a forum for wider public consultation and discussion on social inclusion issues between officials from Government Departments, Community and Voluntary Organisations and people experiencing poverty in relation to the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion. So far, thanks to the preparatory work of Community Work Ireland and EAPN Ireland, the Forum has tried to ensure that people who are directly affected by poverty and social exclusion and those who work with them have a voice in the development of the policies that directly affect them, and in the ways that the policies are implemented.

The 2018 SIF takes place at the very time the Government (Department of Employement Affairs and Social Protection) prepares the next National Action Plan for Social Inclusion (2018-2021).

Time has come to raise our voices and to tell everyone: we are ready to be involved in a plan to end social exclusion! Let’s make the 2018-2021 NAPInclusion the best ever!

Add your voice to our call now!

If you wish to attend this year’s SIF please click HERE to link to the booking form. Please see brochure HERE for the day.

 

There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it!

ATD Ireland and the Irish End Poverty Day Committee
invite you to gather at the Famine Statues and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone
on Wednesday the 4th April 2018 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr will forever hold a place in the hearts of millions of people around the world. The immediate need for freedom from racism, discrimination and flat out brutality toward African Americans will forever be King’s message.However, Dr. King also used his platform to shed light on global poverty. He expressed the need for poverty to be abolished and the need for nations to come together to combat this growing problem.

“A second evil which plagues the modern world is that of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, it projects it’s nagging, prehensile tentacles in lands and villages all over the world. Almost two thirds of the peoples of the world go to bed hungry at night. They are undernourished, ill-housed, and shabbily clad. Many of them have no houses or beds to sleep in. Their only beds are the sidewalks of the cities and the dusty roads of the villages. Most of these poverty-stricken children of God have never seen a physician or a dentist.” (…) “So it is obvious that if a man is to redeem his spiritual and moral ‘lag,’ he must go all out to bridge the social and economic gulf between the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s’ of the world. Poverty is one of the most urgent items on the agenda of modern life.” (…) “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. (…) The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.’”

Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize address in 1964

“We are in an era in which the issue of human rights is the central question confronting all nations. In this complex struggle an obvious but little appreciated fact has gained attention-the large majority of the human race is non-white-yet it is that large majority which lives in hideous poverty. While millions enjoy an unexampled opulence in developed nations, ten thousand people die of hunger each and every day of the year in the south of the world”

“Let My People Go” speech. Human Rights Day December 10, 1965

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective – the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income.” (…) “The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.”

“Where do we go from Here: Chaos or Community” written in 1967

On 4th April 1968 at 6.01pm Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Memphis, USA at a time he was supporting the strike of the Memphis Sanitation Workers for a decent wage and preparing the momentum of the “poor peoples campaing”, a huge non-violent march on Washington DC and the Capitol.
The dreamer was shot dead but his dream of social justice is alive.



ATD Ireland and the Irish End Poverty Day Committee invite you to gather at the Famine Statues and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone on Wednesday the 4th April 2018 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King and to commit together to make the dream come true. The gathering will include speeches, music and songs, creative common gesture, a moment of silence and bells of Dublin tolling together at 6.01pm.

Guest speakers: Peter McVerry and more (TBC)

“Pride – In the Name of Love” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the second track on the band’s 1984 album: The Unforgettable Fire. It was released as the album’s lead single in September 1984. Written about Martin Luther King Jr., the song received mixed critical reviews at the time, but it was a major commercial success for the band and has since become one of the band’s most popular songs.

This song will be one of the song which will be on the songs list of the MLK 50 Dublin commemoration on Wednesday April 4th 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Before the 4th April 2018, visit www.ihaveadream.ie and share with us your “I Have A Dream” speech!

 

Have your say before Saint Patrick’s Day! Let’s make the best Irish anti-poverty plan ever!

On 16th February 2018, the Irish Government launched its public consultation on a new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2018-2021. This move follows the commitment included in the Programme for Partnership Government to develop a new Integrated Framework for Social Inclusion, to tackle inequality and poverty.

The former plan quickly named NAPinclusion (National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016 and update) identified a wide range of targeted actions and interventions to support the overall objective of achieving the National Social Target for Poverty Reduction (NSTPR). It adopted a life-cycle approach with goals set for each group: children; people of working age; older people and communities.  The focus of the last implementation years of this plan was on modernising the social protection system, improving effectiveness and efficiency of social transfers and strengthening active inclusion policies.

Now the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is in the early stages of developing the new National Action Plan/Integrated framework and would like to hear views of the civil society (citizens and organisations). The consultation is by Survey Monkey with a deadline of Friday 16th March. A PDF of the Survey questions is available here to assist with the filling in the online survey.

Have your say! Be inspired by the EAPN briefing! And join the ATD Walk As One initiative to make the next plan the best ever!

A few days after the launch of the consultation, EAPN Ireland (member of the European Anti-Poverty Network) published its Poverty Briefing 2018 and proposals for a new Anti-Poverty Strategy.

A Poverty Briefing published today by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland has highlighted that if the Government wants to tackle the high levels of poverty in Ireland it needs to take action at the highest level and across all Government departments.

Despite some recent progress the Government is failing in its commitments to tackle poverty, with some groups in society at particular risk. There are currently 394,900 people in consistent poverty in Ireland, including around 141,700 children. Paul Ginnell, the Director of EAPN Ireland stated that “The last social inclusion plan completely failed as the commitment to make it a priority from the top of Government wasn’t there. This time the Government must be serious and the new plan ambitious in its goals and implementation if we are ever to have any chance of eradicating poverty and its causes from our society”.

The Poverty Briefing 2018 presents up to date information on the levels of poverty and the issues behind them. It spells out many of the specific issues which impact directly on the lives of people. These relate to inadequate income, lack of access to a range of core services such as health, housing and literacy, numeracy and childcare and the need for quality employment for those who can work.

Finally the Briefing calls for a commitment and action across Government to address poverty and its causes and as the Government begins its consultation on a new social inclusion plan. It outlines a range of proposals which an all Government strategy needs to implement if it to be serious in tackling the causes of poverty. The proposals are for:

  • A comprehensive and ambitious strategy
  • A strategy for a decent income
  • A strategy for quality jobs
  • A strategy for quality services
  • A strategy to end homelessness and ensure housing for all
  • A strategy based on human rights, dignity and equality
  • A strategy which we can afford

Download the Poverty Briefing 2018 and proposals for a new Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Have your say! Be inspired by the EAPN briefing! And join the ATD Walk As One initiative to make the next plan the best ever!

Solidarity Day: TDs and Senators too are invited to walk as one!

Letter sent to all TDs and Senators on 20th December 2017

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Dear Senators, dear TDs, dear MEPs,

Today, Wednesday 20th December, is the United Nations’ International Human Solidarity Day.

This year’s celebration of the Solidarity Day comes after two years when leaders of the world and Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, an inclusive development agenda to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure dignity for all.

Early in 2018, your colleague and Minister Denis Naughten TD will present the Irish 2030 Agenda Implementation Plan. A few months later, Minister Regina Doherty TD will finalize the new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion.

In order to make the best of this momentum in the Country’s efforts to end poverty, All Together in Dignity Ireland (ATD) needs your help!

All the Jedis on the Skellig Islands, and every citizens on the main Island are needed. Help us to gather them!


To make sure that the new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion is the best ever, ATD is running a campaign to collect names of citizens ready to contribute to the drafting and the implementation of this plan.  An on-line campaign is entitled “Walk as One” and can be accessed here www.walkasone.ie.

Today, on UN Solidarity Day, we have a request: would you be ready to share the www.walkasone.ie link with some dedicated citizens in your constituency? As Senators, TDs or MEPs, you know who in your local communities are genuinely committed to make change happen and stop poverty. Please, do invite them to join this national mobilisation. Let’s start to Walk as One!

A first assessment of this citizens’ mobilisation will be done on Social Justice Day (20 February 2018) and all signatories of the call to action will be contacted on this day. Early in March, at the time of the National Social Inclusion Forum in Dublin Castle (8 March 2018), contact will be made with the team of Minister Regina Doherty TD in charge of drafting the plan.

Do help us to initiate this national movement!

We use also the opportunity of this letter to give you the link to the 2018 End Poverty Calendar prepared by the Irish 17 October Committee. The End Poverty Calendar will inspire all activists in this very special year.


2018 will also mark the Centenary of the birth Nelson Mandela, patron of the Make Poverty History Campaign, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, at a time when he was launching the Poor People’s Campaign, and the 30th anniversary of the passing of Joseph Wresinski, the initiator of the UN End Poverty Day.

We thank you in advance for your support.

We wish you a very inspiring International Human Solidarity Day, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Best regards,

Gerald Doherty,
Chair of the Board, All Together in Dignity Ireland
ATD, 26 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1

Let’s call again on the Government to urgently put in place an integrated anti-poverty plan!

The CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions has been published a few days before Christmas on 19 December 2017.

It shows that despite some small improvements in poverty and deprivation rates, more than 790,000 people are living in poverty in Ireland, of which over 250,000 are children.

Despite an increase in average incomes and other signs of economic recovery, these figures show that a significant proportion of the population is still living in very difficult circumstances. These figures are unacceptable in a rich, developed country like Ireland.

Read the reactions of:

and the call on all Senators and TDs by ATD a day after the publication, on International Human Solidarity Day (20 Decemebr 2017).

“At Christmas time we are reminded of those living in poverty and called on to provide important support to charities. However, poverty is unacceptable, especially in a wealthy country like Ireland, so it is crucial that we address the causes of poverty and make sure poverty is something no-one has to face. Let’s again calls on the Government to urgently put in place an integrated anti-poverty plan with the ambition necessary to make a decisive impact on poverty.” says Paul Ginnell, Director of EAPN Ireland.

It’s time to #Walkas1!

The call to action “Walking together for an inclusive society” has been launched!

Discover the call now!

On 17 October 2017, SAOL project and ATD Ireland delegates have been welcomed by Maureen O’Sullivan TD and colleagues (TDs and Senators) in Leinster House AV room to mark the UN End Poverty Day. The SAOL project presented “Object poverty” and ATD launched the #WalkAsOne call to action.

See ATD’s Press Release here.