Ireland’s New Government Faces Human Rights Grilling at UN

Ireland’s New Government Faces Human Rights Grilling at UN


The searching human rights questions that Ireland’s new Government will face from other UN member States have been released at the United Nations in Geneva today (3 May 2016).


The Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has just published the “advance written questions” to be asked of Ireland by countries including its European  partners Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The full list of advance questions can be accessed here.


Abortion law reform tops the bill, with six of the  nine countries that posted advance questions  - Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden - querying Ireland’s ‘restrictive abortion regime’ and what plans the government has to bring our laws into line with international human rights standards.


Other topical queries include:


From Germany: what measures is the Government planning to take to meet the critical needs of homeless people and those who are at great risk of becoming homeless?  

From Germany, Sweden and the UK: What plans does the Government of Ireland have to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

From Czech Republic: Which specific measures did the Government of Ireland adopt and does it plan to adopt in order to eliminate the marginalization of and discrimination against Travellers? Has the Government taken any steps towards recognizing Travellers as a distinct ethnic group?


Next Wednesday, 11 May 2016, the new Government will face the first serious international test of its leadership when the incoming Minister for Justice will be expected to give answers to these and other issues raised during the inter-State Universal Periodic Review examination before the UN Human Rights Council. Join us to watch this high level examination live from 1pm at Goldsmiths Hall, Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.


The full list of Advance Written Questions is available here.



Note to editor:

This year, Ireland will undergo the second periodic examination of its  human rights record under the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is a peer-to-peer review process in which each of the 193 states that comprise the United Nations voluntarily submit themselves for a review of their domestic human rights record every four and a half years. This year, once again, it's Ireland's turn. During the Review Ireland will outline the progress it has made on implementing many of the recommendations from its first review in 2011 and all of the 193 UN States will have an opportunity to make concrete recommendations to Ireland on a myriad of human rights issues. 

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