The Right to Work: Right to Welfare (R2W) group have been active since the summer of 2012, when a group of experienced PPR activists began organising with people who were out of work and on benefits at the Social Security office in Corporation Street, Belfast.  Against the backdrop of rising unemployment and the most radical re-shaping of our welfare system in its history, the work of the R2W group has received acclaim for its innovative approach to asserting rights in the time of austerity.

Commenting on the R2W group, Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said, “The important work being done by the Right to Work: Right to Welfare Group in Belfast, Northern Ireland to hold the government accountable through the grassroots development and use of human rights indicators and benchmarks is crucial and should be praised as a promising practice to be followed.”

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PPR have expressed serious concerns about Department for Social Development plans for the reform of the Social Fund. Intended as a safety net for those in need, the proposals around the provision of goods, income threshold and maximum loan threshold risk further stigmatising the most vulnerable and entrenching poverty.

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The Minister for Employment and Learning Dr. Stephen Farry, MLA, today met with the Right to Work: Right to Welfare group, who are out of work and challenging government to live up to their local and international human rights commitments in relations to jobs and welfare support.

R2W Group launch at Corporation Street Dole office

Right to Work: Right to Welfare group, which calls on government to ‘do their job’ and create employment opportunities today (Monday 25 March) launched their new campaign in the Golden Thread Gallery.

As part of the campaign the group produced a short documentary film made up enitirely of interviews with people who are out of work and signing on at the North Delfast dole office. Click here to view.

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On Friday 1 March 2013 out-of-work people from Belfast met in the Golden Thread Gallery as part of PPR's Right to Work: Right to Welfare campaign and selected human rights indicators and benchmarks to monitor whether government is progressively realising people's right to work and right to welfare over the next twelve months.

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Over the summer PPR began working with the Golden Thread Art Gallery in Belfast to harness the experience and ideas of unemployed people at the DHSS office in Great Patrick Street. With over 5000 unemployed in north Belfast alone, Assembly plans to create only 5000 jobs a year are falling far short of what is needed to deal with an ever growing unemployment crisis.

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