Rights Audit Launched Ahead of UN Scrutiny of Ireland
Press Release – for immediate release
A coalition of 17 NGOs, trade unions and civil society groups, led by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) will today (15 December 2015) launch a new audit of Ireland’s human rights performance.
The review, Your Rights. Right Now. comes in advance of Ireland’s next formal hearing before the United Nations Human Rights Council, under the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). This independent audit of Ireland’s human rights performance since its last UPR hearing (2011) will assist the Human Rights Council to identify areas where progress has been made, as well as highlight issues on which further work is required.
Speaking before the launch of Your Rights. Right Now. report ICCL Executive Director Mark Kelly said:
“The Government has shown outstanding leadership on some of the issues raised in Ireland’s first UPR, especially on the issue of marriage equality. The positive impact that the Marriage Referendum has had on Ireland’s international standing is marked – Ireland is a country which only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 – yet we are now seen as a global leader in LGBTI rights.”
“This second cycle of UPR is an opportunity for Ireland to show leadership in other areas where its performance to date has been less than exemplary, including the retention of antediluvian abortion laws, the failure to ratify important international instruments on disability and ill-treatment , the absence of recognition of Travellers as an ethnic minority and the ongoing failure to recognise economic, social and cultural rights in the Constitution” Mr Kelly added.
“The Your Rights. Right Now. audit is a clarion call to the Government to step up its efforts to bring our outmoded legal framework into compliance with Ireland’s international human rights obligations”, Mr Kelly concluded.
Note to editor
The report is available to download here
Today, 15 December 2015, The Civil Society Coalition is launching its submission, Your Rights. Right Now. for the 25th session of the UPR Working Group which is scheduled for April / Mary 2016. The coalition of 17 Irish NGOs, trade unions and civil society groups was established by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties to coordinate the civil society response to Ireland’s first examination under the Universal Periodic Review. The group was re-convened by the ICCL in 2014 in advance of Ireland’s second examination, scheduled for Spring 2016. The submission Your Rights. Right Now. was submitted to the UN on 21 September 2015, based on 56 written submissions and the information gathered by extensive nationwide consultations, held in partnership with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
Since the first UPR audit of Ireland’s human rights obligations and achievements, the Government has made significant progress in addressing some of the recommendations which the Government accepted. However, in advance of Ireland’s second human rights audit – the ICCL would urge the Government to identify concrete timelines and clear and transparent processes for achieving the recommendations made to us by other UN Member States.