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Equality and Human Rights Statement

LCR clgLongford Community Resources  Clg

Equality and Human Rights Statement  

November 2017

1. Introduction

This statement affirms our commitment to equality and human rights. It serves as a guide to embed equality and human rights, for communities, participants and employees, in our work.

It enables us to address our obligations under the Irish Human Rights Equality and Commission Act 2014 to have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, and protect human rights in carrying out our functions.

2. Our Values

Our commitment to equality and human rights is motivated by a set of shared organisational values. These are:

Dignity

Autonomy

Empowerment

Inclusion

Social justice

3. Values and Objectives, Processes and Behaviours

3.1 Dignity

Dignity is about valuing people and people valuing themselves. It involves respect, acknowledgement of difference, and ensuring a sense of self-worth.

Longford Community Resources works to ensure that:

·       People and communities, in particular those who are marginalised, are respected, valued, have a voice, and are treated equally;

·       Employees are respected, valued, have a voice and are treated with dignity in a manner that is free from harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination.

Longford Community Resources works through processes that respect the background, values, and opinions of people and communities equally and in a non-judgmental way.

Longford Community Resources staff treat each other, participants and the general public with respect and in a manner that takes their views and opinions into consideration.

3.2 Autonomy

Autonomy is about everyone having access to the same set of choices and the freedom and capacity to make their own choices, provided such choices do not impact negatively on the rights of others.

Longford Community Resources works to:

·       Open up options for people and communities so that they have real choices, support their capacity to make informed choices, and engage other agencies to similarly provide options and choices for people and communities.

·       Ensure employees have access to information, knowledge and insights and have opportunities to inform choices made across the organisation and to make choices about their own careers.

Longford Community Resources works through tracking new and emerging opportunities and developing responses to these that enable people and communities, in particular those who are marginalised, to avail of them.

Longford Community Resources staff support people in the choices they make.

3.3 Empowerment

Empowerment is about creating the environment where people and communities, in particular marginalised communities, can raise issues that concern them without fear, have these issues taken into consideration by decision-makers, and participate in and influence decision-making.

Longford Community Resources works to:

·       Encourage participation and engagement of employees, participants, and communities, in an open, inclusive, and transparent way, in its own planning, programme development, and evaluation processes and in those of other agencies.

Longford Community Resources works through approaches that are empowering for the community.

Longford Community Resources staff engage with participants and colleagues in a manner that is empowering for them.

3.4 Inclusion

Inclusion is about diversity and community. It involves removing isolation and building a sense of belonging to community, and promoting acknowledgement of diversity.

Longford Community Resources works to:

·       Identify barriers to inclusion, communicate these barriers to the wider public and relevant agencies, and act directly to address them or advocate to have them addressed.

·       Ensure the diversity of employees is acknowledged and accommodated, all employees feel part of a team, and all employees have a chance to be fully involved in the work and internal processes of the organisation.

Longford Community Resources works through processes of community development and rural development and takes steps to identify specific needs that flow from diversity and make adjustments in its work to take these into account.

Longford Community Resources staff work on the ground in communities and take account of the practical implications of diversity in their relationships with people.

3.5 Social Justice

Social justice is about the distribution and redistribution of resources and power in order to enable greater choices and improved outcomes for individuals and communities.

Longford Community Resources works to:

·       Assess the distribution of resources and power against criteria that are just, based on needs, and involve positive action, and to advocate at local, regional, and national levels for a distribution of resources and power that is just.

·       Ensure just pay and working conditions for all staff, within the resources made available to the organisation and to advocate for these to be increased where they are inadequate to achieve this objective.

Longford Community Resources works through targeting the most marginalised people and communities to ensure positive outcomes for them.

Longford Community Resources staff hold a social analysis with a knowledge and understanding of the experience and causes of marginalisation.

4. Implementing the Equality and Human Rights Statement

The first step in implementing this statement is the establishment and operation of a working group with a mandate and terms of reference to act as a guardian and a champion for this statement and its implementation.

An assessment of the equality and human issues pertaining to each of the five values and relevant to the functions of Longford Community Resources will be prepared and kept up to date for use in implementing this statement.

In making these values live within the organisation, Longford Community Resources will take steps to:

1.     Communicate the statement:

o   Put the statement on the website and make reference to the statement in all internal and external information materials, including the staff handbook.

o   Use signage, such as posters, to make these values visible within the organisation.

o   Organise discussions of the statement within each programme area to ensure a shared understanding of it among all staff.

2.     Engage staff members with the statement:

o   Develop case studies on how current initiatives of Longford Community Resources give expression to these values and the statement.

o   Organise twice yearly staff meetings that include discussion on the statement and the challenge of putting these values into practice.

o   Include a focus on this statement in induction of new staff and staff training.

3.     Engage stakeholders with the statement:

o   Bring the statement to the attention of community organisations that Longford Community Resources works with and encourage their adoption of such a statement.

o   Bring the statement to the attention of statutory agencies that Longford Community Resources works with and encourage their adoption of such a statement.

4.     Bring the statement into planning and evaluation

o   Apply the statement to ensure that its plans and funding applications are aligned with the statement and contribute to the objectives set for each of the values.

o   Monitor and evaluate the implementation of its work plans against the statement and the objectives set for each of the values.