Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission attends Ireland’s Universal Period Review hearing at United Nations

  • Commission makes 36 recommendations to address human rights shortfalls
  • Irish Government asked to report on progress made since Ireland’s 2011 review

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) is attending Ireland’s second Universal Periodic Review Cycle today at the United Nations.

Ireland was last reviewed by the UN under the system of Universal Periodic Review in 2011. Today’s review will examine the recommendations adopted by Ireland in 2011 and seek updates on progress made by Ireland in human rights protection in the past five years.

Under the UPR process, States are peer-reviewed by other UN countries, on their human rights record across a broad range of human rights. A total of 99 UN member states have requested to speak at today’s session, where they will ask questions and make specific recommendations for Ireland to bring about improvements in our human rights record.

These rights include civil and political rights such as the right to liberty, freedom of speech, freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment; as well as economic, social and cultural rights such as the right to health, education and social security.

The IHREC submission to the UN will help inform today’s review. The Commission has made 36 recommendations in its UPR submission of last October aimed at addressing human rights shortfalls, on areas such as Constitutional reform; the rights of persons with disabilities; racial discrimination; domestic violence; Direct Provision and asylum seekers rights; the right to reproductive health; Travellers’ rights; prisoner’s rights and affordable housing.

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan said:The Universal Periodic Review is a unique and important component of the United Nations system of assessing the human rights records of each country.  As a country to country review mechanism, it has opened up significant political dialogue between member states on human rights protection at a domestic level.”

“Today’s review will place a spotlight on the Irish Government as it will be asked to report on progress made since Ireland’s last review in 2011. While positive developments has been made in many areas of rights protection in Ireland over the past five years, some recommendations adopted still require attention and we look forward to hearing what the State has to say on these matters. In particular, we will be very keen to hear what plans are outlined for improvements in identification of victims of trafficking, for reform of the system of Direct Provision and the recognition of Traveller ethnicity and monitoring incidents of racism and hate crime.”

“These UN hearings can encourage the new Government to bring a fresh focus to the equality and human rights principles under discussion in the months since the general election.”

The Commission will live tweet discussions from the UPR hearings. Follow us on Twitter @_ihrec

Read our submission here: The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Submission to the Second Universal Periodic Review for Ireland

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For further information please contact Niamh Connolly on IHREC 01 8589601/ 087 4399022.  Follow us on Twitter @_ihrec

Note for Editors:

  1. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) was established by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014. The Commission has a statutory remit to protect and promote human rights and equality in the State, to promote a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding and to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights and equality.  IHREC is tasked with reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of law, policy and practice relating to the protection of human rights and equality and with making recommendations to Government on measures to strengthen, protect and uphold human rights and equality accordingly. Visit our website: www.ihrec.ie
  2. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council itself.

Visit the Official UN website:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx

 

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