The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHRC) has called on the Government to release asylum-seekers with children from direct provision hostels, once they have spent nine months awaiting a decisions on their status.

The newly established organisation has also called for free legal aid to be extended to 30,000 lone parents to allow them to appeal the State's decision to take away their entitlements from next month.

Beginning next month, lone parents' welfare entitlements will be reduced.

For example, those whose youngest children are 14 or older will have to seek and accept full-time jobs under the same rules that apply to childless single people. 

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan said the Government has failed to meet basic human rights standards required under international law - in the stark choices made during the recession.

There was an absence of any human rights or equality assessment of the Troika bailout programme.

This, she says, led to disadvantaged groups becoming even more susceptible to unemployment, lower incomes or poorer living standards.

In Dublin, the recently-strengthened commission published a long list of demands it will be making on the Government next week at a United Nations forum in Geneva.

It will tell the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  that Government policies during the recession have hurt the weakest most.

In its first report, the IHRC is also critical of the Government for failing to adequately protect the human rights of vulnerable groups during the recession.

It says the seven-year austerity drive has resulted in the burden of the crisis falling disproportionally on those least able to bear its impacts.

The commission was set up last year to promote and protect human rights in the State. 

People with disabilities experienced the impact of austerity measures more acutely, with the rate of unemployment almost trebling among this group - from 8% to 22% during the recession.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Logan said women and children were also negatively affected with cuts to employment support, education and health.

Minister Sean Sherlock is to appear before a UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva next week to answer questions on Ireland's human rights record.

Ms Logan said that the UN Committee will not accept the excuse that there was not enough money to support vulnerable groups effectively.