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Human Rights

Emily Logan says new commission will make her office more powerful and give new level of independence

President Michael D Higgins will appoint Emily Logan as chief commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission today.

EMILY HOGAN IS being appointed as Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission by President Michael D Higgins this morning.

The new commission brings together two existing organisations – the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority.

The ceremony took place this morning at Áras an Uachtaráin – starting at 11am.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Logan explained how reporting to the Oireachtas – rather that the Minister for Justice – will make a difference,

“It makes the office much more powerful than it had been in the past.

It also ensures you are operating in a space that is unfettered in terms of any interference from Government.

“You get much more opportunity to interact across parties throughout the Oireachtas and it gives a credibility and a status to the work that is really important.”

New level of independence 

The appointment is on the eve of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s establishment day, 1 November 2014.

Logan said, “Today’s appointment is an important event that signifies the new level of independence for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

It has taken some time to get to this day but the process has been important.

“Our initial task is to build a welcoming organisation, while vigorously pursuing our mandate to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and nurture a culture of respect for the rights of every person across the whole of society.

“The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 provides us with a range of ways to address human rights and equality issues from engagement to enforcement.

We aim to bring about a change of culture through legal means, policy and legislative advice, awareness and education, and partnership that can transform services, workplaces and society.

“We will have a strong focus on empowering and engaging with people and groups to support them to exercise their own rights and to provide input and feedback to us on our work as it progresses.”

Read: Number of complaints made to the Ombudsman for Children up 16%>

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