Human rights and equality must be built into Ireland's recovery following Covid-19, according to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, which has published its annual report

The commission said care for older people and people without the capacity to live independently needs to be addressed in public policy.

The IHREC said Covid-19 and the State's response to it has highlighted the existing inequalities in society.

In its 2019 report the commission said the same groups who experience disadvantage or discrimination, relative to the rest of the population, have been hardest hit by the pandemic. 

It said the vulnerability of people in congregated institutional settings points to the need to address the role of institutionalisation in public policy. 

The commission said Covid-19 has shone a light on what is classed as "essential" work in the economy and society, which it says is often neither well paid nor secure. 

It points out that this type of work is frequently undertaken by migrant workers and the right to decent work will be an ongoing focus of the commission. 

Acting Chief Commissioner Dr Frank Conaty said the collective response to Covid-19 and the reshaping of society in its aftermath, should lean towards Ireland's instinct of inclusivity, dignity and equality.