On 27th and 28th July 2017, Ireland was formally examined by the UN Committee against Torture on its compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) . The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, as Ireland’s National Human Rights Institution, submitted a report, and met with the Committee in Geneva for the State’s examination.

Read the Committee against Torture’s Concluding Observations on the second periodic report of Ireland

Read the Commission’s press release regarding the report and the examination.

To learn about the examination as it unfolded, see our Storify: Ireland’s 2017 examination by the UN Committee against Torture

The Commission’s CAT Report

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission prepared a detailed report on Ireland’s record under the Convention to help inform the Committee’s assessment of Ireland’s performance on combating torture and ill treatment, providing recommendations regarding issues of concern. This report was submitted to the Committee in advance of the State examination.

Read the  Commission’s Report

Ireland and the Convention against Torture: Submission to the United Nations Committee against Torture on Ireland’s second periodic report

An easy to read document was developed with Inclusion Ireland for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to explain some of the issues.

Read the Easy to Read guide to IHREC’s CAT report.

The Convention against Torture

The UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) is an international treaty which provides for the prohibition on torture as an absolute and non-derogable prohibition.

Ireland signed CAT in 1992 and ratified the convention a decade later in 2002. In so doing, Ireland committed to having its compliance with the Convention reviewed periodically by the UN Committee against Torture, a group comprised of ten independent experts. Ireland was examined by the Committee against Torture in July 2017. This was the first time the Committee has examined Ireland since 2011.

The examination in July 2017 was the second time Ireland has appeared before the Committee against Torture. Following its first examination in May 2011, the Committee issued its ‘Concluding Observations‘ outlining Ireland’s compliance with the Convention against Torture. These can be read here.

In the run up to Ireland’s second examination, the Committee against Torture published a ‘List of Issues Prior to Reporting’ which outlined their primary issues of interest for Ireland. The list can be downloaded here.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT)

A new report on “Ireland and the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture” commissioned by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) makes evidence-based suggestions towards Ireland’s implementation.

The Optional Protocol would require the State to set up a National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) to allow unfettered access and increased independent inspection of all places of detention, including Garda stations, but also including care and residential settings.

To learn more and read the report see here.