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7.1 Japans – getting ready for overshoot 2014

Source: Supporting China and others by the Global Footprint Network (2013)

Source: Supporting China and others by the Global Footprint Network (2013)

A date before August 20th 2014 will mark Earth Overshoot Day, the approximate date on which our resource consumption for this year will exceed the planet’s ability to replenish itself.  21 years ago, the date was October 21, by 2003 it was September 22nd and by 2013 it had moved forward to August 20th.  Given our current increasing trend in consumption, one thing is unfortunately inevitable – overshoot arrives a few days earlier each year.

For those of us involved in development education, Earth Overshoot day offers and excellent and accessible opportunity to teach and learn about sustainable development or, more accurately ‘unsustainable development’ as well as the concepts and values that underpin it.  Designing a workshop, class or event in the lead up to this day couldn’t be easier or simpler – most of the ideas and information can be readily accessed at the Global Footprint Network site: www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/earth_overshoot_day

Earth Overshoot Day represents the annual marker of when we begin to live beyond our ecological means in that year.  From that date on, we live in a planetary ‘overdraft’ – we maintain an ecological ‘deficit’ by ‘drawing down’ local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But in the mid-1970s, humanity had crossed a critical threshold where our consumption began outstripping what the planet could reproduce.  Today that deficit stands at over 50% – we are now using 1.5 planets each year to sustain our (over)consumption and if we continue to do so (even moderately), we will require about 3 planets by the year 2050.  Obviously, this is an impossible equation.

Source: 3 Planets by the Global Footprint Network (2013)

Source: 3 Planets by the Global Footprint Network (2013)

The day offers us a chance to measure, explore and debate the growing gap between our demand for ecological resources and services, and how much the planet can provide.

The Global Footprinting Network site provides everything you need to know about ecological footprinting and all that is needed for an effective research project or group discussion from definitions to glossaries to summaries and onward referencing.  For example, the site explores the ecological footprint of specific countries (with a detailed data table) and cities; it explores the concept of the earth’s biocapacity (a useful and accessible summary and links to the World Wildlife Living Planet Report or see our short annotation) and a fascinating discussion of how many times individual countries exceed their individual ecosystem capacities.

For example, Japan today uses up a capacity 7.1 times more than its own ecosystem can provide (see that of other countries in the diagram above). An excellent summary of the key arguments involved can be found in an article by Carter Roberts called The Day the Earth Ran Out (20th August 2013) in Foreign Affairs.

A related and equally informative footprint – the water footprint can be explored here www.waterfootprint.org including that of individual products, countries and regions.


For more….

  • Stimulus sheets selected from CD-based DE resource 5:50:500 for educational use: see pages 26-32 on Environmental Tipping Points. Download here (PDF).

Podcast: remembering the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement

Following the passing of Nelson Mandela last December we are reminded of the efforts of the many individuals and organisations that worked on the international movement to end Apartheid in South Africa.

The flashpoint of the protest movement is remembered by many through the Dunnes Stores strike and boycott of South African goods, started by a group of checkout workers in 1984 on Henry Street, Dublin, led by cashier Mary Manning.

But what about the role of the church parishes, sporting associations, trade unions, politicians and celebrities?

Here’s an excellent reflection by UCD historian Diarmaid Ferriter along with Pat Kenny on the work of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, recorded on Newstalk radio on the 12th December that’s well worth listening to.

Notice: new DE resource guidelines consultation event on 9th April

Photo: Resources by Ciara Regan (2013) © DevelopmentEducation.ie

Photo: Resources by Ciara Regan (2013) © DevelopmentEducation.ie

Are you involved in development education resource production? Or would you like to be? Then this event is for you!

This year, DevelopmentEducation.ie, in collaboration with Dóchas and IDEA, are producing a set of guidelines to support the production of DE resources in Ireland. These guidelines are a direct outcome of the Audit of Irish Development Education Resources (2013) carried out last year by DevelopmentEducation.ie (more info on this at www.developmenteducation.ie/audit

A short consultation event is being taking place on the 9th April on the draft Guidelines for Producing Development Education Resources (venue to be confirmed) as part of the Finding Frames research launch (for more information see this weeks Dochas Newsletter) in order for the development education sector to give their feedback before they are finalised.

If producing DE resources is part of your work then make sure you participate in this consultation!

To register for the event please email anna@dochas.ie (taking place on 9th April from 9.30am-1pm)

Background information on the resource guidelines

Ireland has a long and recognised tradition of producing high quality development education resources at all levels that stretches more than 40 years.   Resources are a product of their time. Just as development issues, curriculum needs and learning contexts change, resources need updating – whether it’s content, context or the facts.

These guidelines have been developed by DevelopmentEducation.ie, Dóchas and IDEA following the Audit of Irish Development Education Resources report (2013) in order to animate and support anyone – whether an individual or an organisation – thinking about producing resources. The guidelines have been informed by the findings of the audit in consultation with development education practitioners. They are not intended to be prescriptive; rather they represent a set of collective ideas and suggestions for discussion and debate.

The aims of these guidelines are fivefold:

1.    To support the continued high standard of DE resource production in Ireland

2.    To support educators, teachers, writers, non-governmental organisations and individuals working to produce a development education resource

3.    To provide a series of ideas, options, choices, key questions and viewpoints to consider

4.    To offer a set of questions that encourage discussion and debate on the reasons and rationale for producing resources

5.    To encourage reflection on a broad range of issues associated with producing a resource from a development and human rights perspective within a popular educational approach and ideas to very practical and immediate ‘technical’ concerns


If you are unable to attend the event don’t worry – there will be other opportunities to feedback (contact Eimear@ideaonline.ie for more info). Check back on the website or watch the IDEA e-circular for updates.

Wildlife trafficking: putting ‘the nexus’ in global development

Tom Roche makes the case that all of us – student groups, teachers, woodwork folk, parents and professionals – should be making online submissions to the European Commission’s public consultation on combating wildlife trafficking, which closes on the 10th April.


Photo:Government held rhino horn stockpile © Simon Milledge / TRAFFIC

Photo: Government held rhino horn stockpile © Simon Milledge / TRAFFIC

Events marking the first World Wildlife Day took place in numerous countries around the globe on Monday 3rd March 2014. The purpose of World Wildlife Day is to raise awareness of the escalating and damaging international trade in wildlife parts.

It is very important that the significance of wildlife trafficking is fully understood and put in context of the larger international debate in global development issues: it undermines efforts to reduce abject poverty, it facilitates corruption and it finances international terrorism and armed conflict.

On 13th February 2014, London was host to a high-level summit to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.  On 3rd March 2014, at a less high level platform, Just Forests highlighted the links between declining wildlife and development issues in a presentation and workshop to the next generation of furniture graduates at GMIT Letterfrack, the National Furniture College.

World Wildlife Day coincided with the first anniversary of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) which bans the importation of illegally-logged timber and wood-based products into the EU, which became law on Sunday 3rd March 2013

Making presentations on the progress in securing the EUTR is vital if the regulations are to have any impact on the environmental, economic and social impacts of illegal-logging, which Just Forests plays a part in continuing.

The European Commission has called on the public across Europe to make online submissions on how the EU can be more effective in combatting wildlife trafficking , which closes on the 10th April, 2014 [more details on the consultation below].

Wildlife trafficking

Wildlife trafficking is the illegal cross-border trade in biological resources taken from the wild, including trade in timber and marine species. Trading in wildlife and wildlife ‘parts’ is not new: it has been around for centuries, but its scale, nature and impacts have changed considerably in recent years. After gas and oil wood is one of the largest traded (both domestically and internationally) natural renewable resource in the world.

Trading in wildlife is devastating not just the environment but it is also destroying communities by harboring corruption and fear in states where terrorism is part of daily life. Another aspect of illegal wildlife trafficking is that it often targets ‘flag ship’ species such as elephants and mahogany.

‘Flagships are generally high profile and charismatic species that may play a significant ecological role and often have important cultural associations. Flagship species act as symbols for the threats to the broader ecosystem in which they occur, and can thus act as catalysts for wide-ranging conservation activities.’ (Source: Flora and Fauna International)

Crime of the dance: a case study in white gold in Ireland

The number of elephants illegally slaughtered in Africa for their ivory has risen from 10,000 a decade ago to a staggering 22,000 in 2012. We often come across ivory in our travels as tourists and may not always realize how our purchases of souvenirs are contribution to the illegal trade.

The recent burglary of a rhino horn from the County Cork home of Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley, opens up an issue of international trade that should be taken very seriously by each and every one of us.

The proceeds from wildlife trafficking is now a major source of income for criminal gangs in Ireland.  Mr Flatley’s recent ordeal is testimony to this. His rhino horn is estimated to be worth €200,000.  Can you imagine what a small Irish NGO, hospital or community group could do with that amount of money?

Rhino horn often referred to as ‘white gold’ is now more valuable that gold fetching as much as €40,000 per kilo.  Has the more affluent amongst us the right to purchase animal parts and showcase them to let their friends know just how wealthy they are?

The scale of wildlife crime – respond to the EU consultation

On a global scale wildlife crime is ranked third after drugs and arms trafficking and amounts to a staggering US$20Billion annually.

This is an absolutely shocking figure.

Just Forests welcomes the recent announcement by EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potoanik, for public submissions on wildlife trafficking and believes we must ask ourselves if the more affluent amongst us has a right to purchase animal parts and showcase them to let their friends know just how wealthy they are?

In a statement from the Commission it states,

‘Wildlife crime is highly lucrative, and prosecutions are rare. The growing demand for illegal products has devastating consequences for a number of species already under threat. The changing scale of the problem has raised questions about how the EU can be more effective in fighting against wildlife trafficking. The Commission is therefore seeking views on ten questions related to wildlife trafficking, including the adequacy of the current framework, tools that might strengthen existing efforts to fight the problem, how the EU in particular can help, improving our knowledge and data, and the possibility of stronger sanctions.’

The deadline for on-line submissions to the call for Public Consultation on how the EU can be more effective in combating wildlife trafficking  is 10th April, 2014, and you can access it here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/wildlife_trafficking_en.htm

We must make the connections between our purchases of wildlife parts and the broader issues of sustainability and development. Putting the ‘nexus’** at the centre of all we do and responding to consultations like this is an important start.


**According to the Oxford dictionary the word ‘nexus’ –noun (pl. same or nexes)1. a connection or series of connections linking two or more things: the nexus between industry and political power, a connected group or series: a nexus of ideas2. a central or focal point: the nexus of any government in this country is Dail     Eireann

ORIGIN mid 17th cent: from Latin, ‘a binding together’,  from nex-‘bound’, from the verb nectare.


These are the sights young people in Ireland would miss the most

“If I lost my sight, chocolate I can taste, flowers I can touch, music I can hear, perfume I can smell but my shadow I will never see again” photo by Tharu Polgolla, winner of the 2014 Snap a Sight photo competition. © Tharu Polgolla/Sightsavers.

Did you know that two thirds of all people who are blind are female or that 80% of blindness is avoidable and 90% of blindness exists in developing countries?

As part of Sightsavers development education initiatives for secondary schools, the team ran the Snap A Sight photo competition asking students nationwide to turn their camera phones around from taking ‘selfies’ and instead to snap a sight from the world around them – the sight that they would miss the most, if they lost their vision.

Through the mediums of photography and social media, Sightsavers aimed to engage teenagers about the fact that people living in developing countries are at greater risk of losing their sight to preventable diseases.

By entering the competition, entrants had to think about what sight loss would mean to them and to think about the unjust reasons why more people are at risk of losing their sight in developing countries.

Many of the entrants were CSPE and Transition Year students who heard about the competition through their teachers using the Seeing Our World (a resource that explores blindness and human rights around the world produced in 2013) in their schools or else met with Sightsavers team at our interactive stall at this year’s BT Young Scientist. By using human rights education as a platform, students could explore the work of Sightsavers on issues such as global health, social exclusion and poverty.

Out of 340 entries across Ireland, this year’s overall winner was Tharu Polgolla (15) who was awarded the top accolade. Second and third place went to Shane Kenneally (16) and Sophie Hanley (16). Bronagh Dunne won in the 19+ category.

“I love watching the energy of the sea as it crashes against the rocky coast on windy days” photo by Shane Kenneally, Runner-Up of the 2014 Snap a Sight photo competition. © ShaneKenneally/Sightsavers.

“This reminds me of my grandad who loved gardening & flowers. If this sight was taken from me it would make me stop looking at flowers with a happy face” photo by Sophie Hanley, Third Place in the 2014 Snap a Sight photo competition. © Sophie Hanley/Sightsavers.

“The changing of the seasons” photo by Bronagh Dunne winner in 19+ category in the 2014 Snap a Sight photo competition. © Bronagh Dunne/Sightsavers.

The panel of judges included Cian Healy (Irish rugby player), Rick O’Shea (Radio Presenter) Una Mullally (Journalist/Broadcaster) and Nialler9 (Music Blogger) who helped to spread the word about the competition to over a million people on Twitter!

Competition entrants attended an exhibition of the photos in Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin on Saturday 8th March where prizes were presented kindly sponsored by Viking. Attendees got to hear first-hand from Sightsavers CEO Michael Marren about the impact of avoidable blindness and also watched videos that brought the problem and the solution to life.

View the longlist of entrants and photos on www.sightsaverscompetition.ie/finalists

Access Seeing Our World: a CSPE and Transition Year resource that explores blindness and human rights around the world (2013) or contact schools@sightsavers.ie  to request a copy or for enquires. More info at www.sightsavers.ie/secondaryschools and https://twitter.com/SightsaversIE

Check out the Sean Burke’s Robert De Niro impression announcing the photo competition in November last year:

The climate for activism is now

Photo: 22-Dublin by Sonia Luna (21/11/2010)  Flickr CC license.

Photo: 22-Dublin by Sonia Luna (21/11/2010) Flickr CC license.

It’s hard to escape the ‘devastation’ that the ‘adverse weather conditions’ have ‘ravaged’ across the UK and Ireland, to limit it closer to home. Writing from Dublin, we have ‘escaped’ the ‘worst’ of the storms, but the reality of the huge impact of the damage across the country is readily and constantly in the limelight.

Is this climate change? Scientists believe unequivocally that it is.

The message somehow isn’t loud enough or somehow hasn’t reached those of us outside of the science lab. With David Cameron relaxing building rules to reduce the ‘burden’ of cost to builders and house buyers of the many environmental regulations, it seems climate change is too expensive for development and for those of us here in the West. While there is very little that we can do to guard against the climactic events that occur, we can take action to prevent similar events from happening in the future. The link between our consumption and its effect on climate change and the urgency with which we need to respond is old news now (or is it?) so that leads me to ask, what’s it got to do with me and what are we  going to do it?

At the same time we are being fed images of weather damage, there are countless images of citizen activism and demonstrations from across the world reacting to infringements on human rights – Ukraine, Central African Republic, Venezuela, Syria, to name just a few. At times it can be quite disconcerting when you take the time to absorb the torrent of bad news that plagues us daily. Even if you don’t listen/watch the news, you can’t escape it. Oftentimes, it really is depressing viewing and can make me feel quite helpless. Yet, we need to be aware that over the years, dramatic change has taken place all over the world when ordinary people seek it.

The recent, and very brilliant, movie “Mandela. The Long Walk to Freedom” (if you haven’t seen it – do!) set me thinking about how change takes place when ordinary people demand action and its impact on global change and where I fit in.  While the global attention of the South African struggle for freedom from oppression was intensified through the imprisonment of ANC leader Nelson Mandela for 27 years as a consequence of the struggle, Mandela did not fight a regime and its mindset alone. There is one scene in the movie in particular that highlighted this message for me. Mandela, along with 7 others were sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island just off the coast of Capetown in South Africa (the 8th person, Denis Goldberg served 22 years in Pretoria Central Prison, then the only security wing for white political prisoners in South Africa)  for their struggle related activities after the Rivonia Trials.

The scene in the movie is set on the island with Mandela and his compatriots, now elderly men, pruning vegetation in the prison garden. With the struggle intensifying in South Africa, a group of young people were arrested and sent to the prison on the island. One of these young people recognises Mandela in the garden and is horrified by what he sees. With the violence escalating, here was the great freedom fighter, now an old man chatting and tending to the garden while people were dying on the streets of Johannesburg. He questions why the country was waiting for Mandela to do something and where was his ANC now? Mandela’s response to this young man was that alone we can have a limited impact, but that together we can achieve great things:

Patrick Lekota (the young man): “I told you these old men had given up. They’re killing us on the streets. But even the children are fighting back, and he grows tomatoes.

Nelson Mandela: What is your name?

Patrick Lekota: My name is Patrick Lekota.

Nelson Mandela: Mr. Lekota, we have been in prison for a very long time. We would be very happy to listen to you, to learn.

Patrick Lekota: We closed down the schools, all the schools. There was no ANC. We don’t need your ANC.

Nelson Mandela: I can see… that you are very brave. [pointing to the young inmates beside Lekota] And you… and you. But alone, what can you do?

[showing three fingers, then closing them into a clenched fist].

Together we have power. Together.

You and I can be killed or imprisoned, but the organization goes on … forever”.

In January 2012 the ANC celebrated its 100th anniversary in existence, having successfully defeated apartheid.

For me, we are at a critical time of global political and social activism. Societies throughout the world are demanding change, and change is possible as the realities of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and supported throughout the world, including Ireland shows – the Berlin Wall, the Nestle Baby Food campaign in India, Vietnam, Iraq, the civil rights movement, the suffragette movement, etc.

The climate struggle, for me is something we can achieve together, if we begin to seriously consider action now. More…

The long fight for justice in Guatemala

Sally O’Neill reflects on Trócaire’s groundbreaking work in Guatemala which began over 30 years ago and the recent genocide trial of former dictator Rios Montt.

It was 1982 and I was in Guatemala trying to meet a man called Frank La Rue. I had been given a piece of paper with instructions to wait in a designated coffee shop and look for a man carrying a copy of Time magazine.

My instructions were clear: if this man did not show up, I was to swallow the piece of paper and immediately board a bus to get me out of the country.

This was the height of Rios Montt’s military regime. Frank was an up and coming human rights lawyer and had already come to the regime’s attention. Even knowing him was dangerous; trying to meet him could have been fatal. Soon, Guatemala’s streets would be too dangerous for Frank, forcing him into exile from his own country.

After that first meeting, I travelled to the Guatemalan highlands. There, I spent time with indigenous Mayan communities. Within two years, 440 of these communities would be wiped from the face of the earth – the people slaughtered and thrown into mass graves; the few survivors held hostage and used as sex slaves by the military.

Approximately 200,000 people were killed during Guatemala’s civil war, 70% of whom were murdered during the years of Montt’s reign in the early 1980s.

Frank worked closely with Trócaire in the years that followed. He had set up the Centre for Legal Action on Human Rights in Guatemala (CALDH).

Together, we found that a problem facing widows in the highlands was that without proof of their husband’s death, they had no access to land title. And so we decided to work together to exhume mass graves.

We set up a small team and they began lifting victims out of the ground. Today, that team is regarded as leading forensic experts and have worked on similar cases in Ethiopia and Argentina.

We spent time with indigenous communities; heart-breaking days when the trauma of what they experienced was, quite literally, dragged up in front of them again.

It was always our dream that these people would one day see justice in a Guatemalan courtroom. And so, after almost three decades of tireless perseverance from CALDH and others like them, Rios Montt entered court last month – the first former head of state anywhere in the world to be charged with genocide in a domestic court.

Top: Attendees at the trial of Rios Montt. Bottom: Rios Montt testifies in court. Photos: Elena Hermosa.

The trial was incredibly powerful. Day after day, the indigenous people who had suffered during his reign, poured into the courtroom. Their dignity was astounding.

Then, on May 11th, came the word they had all waited to hear: “guilty”. The courtroom erupted in chants of “Justicia! Justicia!”

Montt was sentenced to 80 years in prison – 50 years for genocide and 30 years for crimes against humanity.

Last week, however, the country’s constitutional court overturned the verdict, instead ordering the trial to restart from its midway point. The ruling was a set-back for millions of people in Guatemala, including Frank, who is now the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Freedom of Opinion.

There is now much legal argument over the retrial – when it will start, or even whether it will start at all. The people who lost loved ones and suffered brutally at the hands of the military during those years can only hope that justice will not be lost in legal argument.

Whatever happens, however, the victims can stand tall. For the first time in their lives, they could stand in a courtroom and tell the people of Guatemala, and the entire world, what happened to them. They could stand face-to-face with the people who presided over the military during those brutal years and demand to be listened to.

Regardless of what happens next, nobody can ever take that from them.


Crossposted with permission from Trócaire’s blog at www.trocaire.org/blogs, originally published on 27th May 2013.

Update: On 20 May, the constitutional court of Guatemala overturned the genocide conviction of Rios Montt, ordering the trial to recommence from its mid-way point

Read Elena Hermosa’s report from the Rios Montt trial, Justice in Guatemala as Rios Montt found guilty of genocide (13th May 2013).

How many Africans?

It always was and still is one of the most useful and telling introductory development education activities as it tells us a lot about people’s perceptions of the world.  Imagining a world of 100 people and dividing it percentage wise between key regions and then discussing and debating a given group’s answers (there is always wide variation) can provide for rich pickings educationally.

It is hard to beat it as a starting point for a class or group DE session and now the figures can be updated extensively following the publication in June 2013 of the 2012 Revision of World Population Prospects outlining the latest global demographic estimates and projections prepared by the UN Population Division.

With a total world population now of over 7.2 billion, the regional distribution of population in our imaginary world of 100 people is now as follows: Africa 15, Asia 60, Europe 11, Latin America and the Caribbean 9, North America 5 and Oceania <1.

Other highlights of the report include:

1. World population will reach 8.1 billion in 2025, by mid-century it will top 9.5 billion and is predicted (based on medium projections) to reach nearly 11 billion by 2100.

2. More than half of the growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa where population is expected to double, from 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion; the continents population will continue to rise even if there is a decrease in the average number of children per family.

3. India, currently the second most populated country is expected to rival China in size by 2028, with each country having about 1.45 billion people.  After 2030, China’s numbers will shrink to an estimated 1.1 billion by the end of this century while India’s population will reach about 1.5 billion.

4. The population of Nigeria is expected to surpass that of the US by 2050 to become the world’s third most populous country by 2100.  Other countries including Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines are set for significant population increases.

5. Some of the most rapid increases are anticipated in the world’s 49 least-developed countries – Mali, Niger, Somalia, Tanzania and Zambia are expected to increase the populations at least fivefold by 2100.

6. Migration from developing to developed countries is projected to average roughly 2.4 million each year from 2013-2050 before dropping to 1 million from 2050-2100. Without this movement, the populations of many European and other developed countries would be expected to decline significantly.

7. Average family sizes have dropped significantly over the past decades with an estimated 48% of the world’s people now living in countries where the average number of children per woman is less than 2.1 while an additional 43% live in countries where the figure is between 2.1 and 5.  Only 9% of the world’s people live in the 31 countries where the average woman has more than 5 children – 29 are in Africa and two are in Asia (Afghanistan and Timor-Leste).

For those wanting to explore many of the issues raised in the report (or to carry out additional, project based research) the basic data file can be downloaded at http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Excel-Data/population.htm It is chock-a-block full of useful and interesting data that can be productively ‘mined’ by students exploring the topic.

Additional population related tools include the following:

Major populations in 2100, produced by The Guardian (link above to PDF).

Major populations in 2100, produced by The Guardian (link above to PDF).

For a useful summary of many of the key arguments involved in debating world population growth and its associated challenges, see the This house believes that the world would be better off with fewer people debate from The Economist (2009) and the a detailed focus on population as an indicator of sustainability on the planet from the Worldwatch Institute (2012).

We also have a short section on Debating Population in the Shape of Our World guide (2013) plus our animation on if the world had 100 people before the figures were updated, which are both worth checking out.

Teaching resources: it’s Fairtrade Fortnight!

Live at the constitutional convention: debating economic, social and cultural rights for Ireland #ESCrights #ccven

The right to health…the right to education…the right to housing…the right to an adequate standard of living…

Can we afford to pay for these human rights?

What are the arguments for ESC rights and against ESC rights?

Would placing ESC rights into the constitution place an undue pressure on the separation of powers between the courts, parliament and the government?

Watch the proceedings live from the Constitutional Convention where 100 delegates consider a range of economic, social and cultural rights within the context of constitutional reform in Ireland.

Background documents from the speakers on the day can be found here, including the proceedings and running order. Speakers include Dr Liam Thorton UCD, Prof. Aoife Nolan, David Fennelly BL plus Colm O’Gorman (Amnesty Ireland) and Mary Murphy (Irish Human Rights Commission) arguing the case for ESC rights and Michael McDowell (Senior Council) arguing the case against ESC rights.

Watch the day’s proceedings live below:

About the Constitutional Convention

The Convention is a new venture in participative democracy in Ireland tasked with considering certain aspects of the Constitution to ensure that it is fully equipped for the 21st Century and making recommendations to the Oireachtas on future amendments to be put to the people in referendums.

The Convention is a decision-making forum of 100 people, made up of 66 citizens, randomly selected and broadly representative of Irish society; 33 parliamentarians, nominated by their respective political parties and including an elected representative from each of the political parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly which accepted an invitation from the Government; and an independent Chairman (Tom Arnold).

For more information visit www.constitution.ie

Note: videos and documentation from the day will be made available here following the event.