Peace and Human Rights

As Chair of the Oireachtas Peace, Neutrality and Disarmament group, I believe Ireland’s best international contribution should be as a voice for peace.

I co-sponsored the Occupied Territories and Family Reunification Bills and won rights-based amendments to legislation in data protection, domestic violence and adoption. I will continue to bring a human-rights perspective to public policy.

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Senators Alice-Mary Higgins and Frances Black co-sign letter from 1,000 parliamentarians calling on European leaders to take a stand against annexation and protect the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, Senator Frances Black, Senator Lynn Ruane and Senator David Norris and more than 100 other Irish Oireachtas members have joined over 1,000 other parliamentarians from across Europe, in co-signing a letter calling on European leaders to act decisively against plans for illegal annexation of Palestinian territories by Israel which have the potential to undermine peace negotiations and further destabilize the region.



The joint letter, initiated by Avraham Burg a former speaker of Israel's parliamentary assembly, the Knesset, underlines the importance of a "rules based global order" and calls for a lasting solution to the conflict that meets “legitimate aspirations and security needs and guarantees equal rights of both Israelis and Palestinians.” It emphasizes that “Europe has the diplomatic tools to promote this just goal, and we stand ready to support such efforts.”



Senator Higgins said: “Europe has a responsibility to follow through on its long-stated commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to take a firm stand against attempts to undermine core principles of justice, human rights and peace. Europe must make strong use of its diplomacy to oppose any proposed new settlement or annexation and Ireland, in particular, needs to show leadership”



Senator Black said: “With the threat of annexation, the international community must recognise one thing above all else: Condemnation is not enough! It has not stopped decades of settlement expansion. We need real accountability and action before it’s too late. “



“I introduced The Occupied Territories Bill into Seanad Éireann in 2018, it prohibits the importation of goods from illegally occupied lands, including the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The international community has an obligation to oppose annexation & the expansion of illegal settlements: we can start by refusing to support them economically.”



The letter, signed by 1080 parliamentarians, is addressed to EU Foreign Ministers and EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell. It calls on Europe to “take the lead in bringing international actors together to prevent annexation and to safeguard the prospects of the two-state solution and a just resolution to the conflict.”



Senator Higgins, Senator Lynn Ruane and others have called on parties in Government formation talks to take concrete steps to address racism in Ireland

We all need to be in solidarity with those taking a stand against racism right now in the United States. We also need to face up to and challenge racism here in Ireland. Myself, Senator Lynn Ruane and Senator Frances Black have sent a letter co-signed by 20 other members of the Oireachtas to the leaders of the three parties currently in Government formation talks calling on them resolutely reject racist policy and rhetoric and commit to real action on inclusion and equality. ... We believe the next programme for government must; * Legislate against Hate Crime * End Direct Provision * Legislate to reverse impact of 27th amendment and stop the deportation of Irish born children * Enact our Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill * Re-establish a National Anti-Racism Body.

It is also vital that those who have sought to exploit inflammatory and racist language for perceived political or electoral advantage are not given any part in government.