Iraqi parliamentarians hear of Ireland’s human rights experience

The Irish Human Rights Commission was invited to address Iraqi parliamentarians at a Human Rights Workshop aimed at providing models of good practice for human rights institutions and practice in Iraq. The workshop, which concludes today, is organised jointly by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Inter-Parliamentary Union as part of the democratisation process in Iraq.

Dr. Alpha Connelly, Chief Executive of the IHRC, gave two presentations during the week-long workshop which addressed issues around the establishment of a national human rights institution, the requisite mandate and appropriate legislation. "To have the opportunity to offer some information and to share one’s experience as a national human rights commission with a country like Iraq undergoing a democratisation process is a privilege for us". Dr. Connelly recalled the words of the Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern, T.D., at the launch of the IHRC in 2000 that the "Commission would be a model for others to follow, and one that would set rather than follow standards of best international practice".

Speaking from Geneva, Dr. Connelly concluded "In view of our relatively recent history, we are very honoured to be selected by the organisers who view our structure and work to date as a model of good practice for a national human rights commission".

Giving his response to the presentation of Dr Connelly, the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Iraqi Parliament, Mr. Mohammed Al Haidari said "While we already knew formally about the human rights law and institutions in various countries, we were very interested to hear of the actual practice and structure of the Irish Human Rights Commission and of its relationship with the Parliament as well as the range of its functions".

For further information, please contact:

Mary Ruddy

Senior Human Rights Awareness Officer

Irish Human Rights Commission.

Jervis House,

Jervis Street,

Dublin 1.
Tel. 01 8589 601
Mobile: 087 2400695
Website :

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