As my second term within the European Parliament draws to a close, I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have supported my work over the past years. It has been an enormous privilege to serve the people of Dublin and Ireland East in Europe. It is my strongest belief that our society should be measured by how we treat the most vulnerable and I believe that my contribution within the European Parliament has been reflective of this- Nessa
World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to:
- Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year.
- Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.
The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.
Every year, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a dedicated theme that runs for one or more years. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes.
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the lack of support for universal access to water from a majority of conservative MEPs.
Speaking from Strasbourg after yesterday’s vote on the review of the Drinking Water Directive in the European Parliament, Ms. Childers said:
“Everybody agreed that decades-old EU water quality and safety standards had to be brought up to date with scientific knowledge and environmental goals.
“Unfortunately, not everybody in Parliament agrees that vulnerable groups such as the homeless have a right to access to water
“The first successful European Citizens’ Initiative ever called precisely for European action to ensure water remains a public service and a public good.
“About a million people in 21st century Europe lack access to water, with close to ten times more lacking sanitation.
“This review was a wasted opportunity to listen to the voice of our citizens and enshrine universal access to drinking water in European legislation.
“I was part of progressive, cross-party coalition which pushed amendments to strengthen this proposal, and counted on the efforts of many colleagues such as my Dublin counterpart, Lynn Boylan, and the UK’s Rory Palmer.
“It is unconscionable to see cornerstone of those efforts scuppered by the commodifying mentality that, in Ireland, cost us millions in consultant fees that could have gone to works on atrocious leakage rates.”
The European Parliament has recently adopted the report ‘Pathways for the reintegration of workers recovering from injury and illness into quality employment‘. The report includes the first explicit endorsement of the Dying to Work campaign and a call on the Commission to address the lack of data concerning terminally ill people in the workplace. Specifically:
- Recognises that people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness retain the fundamental right to work; further recognises that these individuals face a unique set of challenges relating to their employment, distinct from the challenges facing other patient groups, as there is often little time for them to adapt to their changing conditions and for workplace adjustments to be made; commends initiatives such as the Dying to Work campaign for raising awareness about this specific set of problems; encourages employers to maintain as much dialogue as possible with employees who have received a terminal diagnosis, to ensure that all necessary and possible adaptations can be made to allow the employee to carry on working if he or she so wishes; is of the opinion that, for many patient, remaining in the workplace is a personal, psychological or economic imperative and central to his or her dignity and quality of life; urges the Member States to support the reasonable adaptation of workplaces to the unique set of challenges facing this group of people; calls on the Commission to tackle the lack of data on the employment status of people with cancer and to support the collection of better data, comparable across Member States, in order to improve support services for them;
The full report can be found here.
This is a first formal recognition of the work of the EU campaigns and a hugely positive step forward in highlighting this important set of issues.
The Dying to Work campaign would like to see terminal illness recognised as a ‘protected characteristic’ so that an employee with a terminal illness would enjoy a ‘protected period’ where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition.
Such protection would give every person battling terminal conditions the choice of how to spend their final months and the peace of mind to know their job was protected and the future
financial security of their family was guaranteed.
Potential effects of losing your job following a terminal diagnosis:
- Reduced income and loss of financial security.
- Loss of stimulation, dignity and normality associated with being in employment.
- Undergoing an inevitably stressful and upsetting HR procedure.
- Loss of ‘Death in Service’ and ‘Life Assurance’ payments to family members and loved ones.
To find out more about this issue please go to: https://www.dyingtoworkeu.org/