Human Rights in Ireland: Fact sheets

On 21 September 2016 Your Rights Rights Now submitted a the 2nd Civil Society Stakeholder Report to the Working Group on Ireland's Second Universal Periodic View. The report focused on 20 thematic areas relating to key human rights issues in Ireland. 

See below for updated information on each of these thematic areas ahead of Ireland's upcoming hearing on 11 May 2016 13.30pm (GMT) at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Click on the links below to view and download the relevant fact sheet.

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PDF icon Freedom of Religion or Belief (Fact_Sheet_No_2_Freedom_of_Religion.pdf | 106 kB)

Blasphemy remains a criminal offence under Irish law. Judges and other state office holders must swear a religious oath when taking office.
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PDF icon Gender Equality (Fact_Sheet_No_9_Gender_Equality.pdf | 151 kB)

Despite the recommendation of the Convention on the Constitution no action has been taken to amend Article 41.2 of the Constitution to include a gender neutral clause. Little progress has been made to encourage gender balance at decision making level or to reduce the gender pay gap.
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PDF icon Hate Crime and Discrimination (Fact_Sheet_No_19_Hate_Crime_and_Discrimination.pdf | 98 kB)

The Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 is Ireland's only legislative provision to combat any form of hate crime, and is largely ineffective. There is significant under reporting and under recording of Hate crime in Ireland. Successful prosecution of hate crime remains low in comparison to other EU jurisdictions.
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PDF icon Historical Abuse of Women and Children (Fact_Sheet_No_1_Historical_Abuse_of_Women__Children.pdf | 100 kB)

There is a consistent lack of accountability, truth finding and access to justice for women and children including in relation to the medical procedures concerning child birth know as symphysiotomy or pubiotomy and the experience of women and girls in Magdalene laundries.
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PDF icon Immigration & Asylum/Trafficking/ Domestic Workers (Fact_Sheet_No_18_Immigration_and_Asylum.pdf | 101 kB)

Current system of application for asylum sees long waiting times for decisions. Many asylum seekers are housed for long periods in direct provision and are prohibited from working. Comprehensive
immigration legislative reform is required, including  greater protection for undocumented migrants. Ireland lacks a national action plan to prevent and combat human trafficking.
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PDF icon International Assistance and Cooperation (Fact_Sheet_No_17_International_Assistance_and_Cooperation.pdf | 104 kB)

Ireland continues to fall short of its UN Millennium Project commitment of contributing 0.7% GNP to official development assistance. 
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PDF icon LBGTI Rights (Fact_Sheet_No_11_LGBTI_Rights.pdf | 143 kB)

The passage of the Marriage Equality Act in 2015 and the Gender Recognition Act 2015 were major milestones in ensuring equal rights for LGBTI people in Ireland. However, despite these developments many challenges remain including discrimination in the provision of goods and services, discrimination in access to employment and the exclusion of trans and intersex young people fro gender recognition legislation.
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PDF icon Legal Protection of Economic, Social and Cultural (ESC) Rights (Fact_Sheet_No_5_Legal_Protection_of_ESC_Rights.pdf | 133 kB)

Despite the recommendation of the Convention on the Constitution no steps have been taken to give legal effect to economic, social and cultural rights in the Constitution. Ireland has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
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PDF icon Prisons and Detention (Fact_Sheet_No_20_Prisons.pdf | 101 kB)

Ireland has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol of UN Convention against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). Slow progress in eliminating 'adverse conditions' in a number of prisons remains a concern, including ending the practice of 'slopping out', improving in-cell sanitation, combating inter prisoner violence, reducing overcrowding and 22 or 23 hour lock up of prisoners in cells.  
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PDF icon Reproductive Rights (Fact_Sheet_No_14_Reproductive_Rights.pdf | 116 kB)

Ireland continues to have one of the most restrictive regimes in the world in relation to accessing safe and legal abortion services for women and girls. The vast majority of pregnant women who decide to end a pregnancy must travel to other states to access safe and legal abortion services. Women living in poverty, asylum seekers and undocumented women experience particular barriers to accessing funds and/or obtaining travel documents to leave and re-enter the state.
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PDF icon Rights of The Child (Fact_Sheet_No_15_Rights_of_the_Child.pdf | 164 kB)

In 2012, the 31st Amendment of the Constitution was passed by popular referendum to enshrine and enhance some rights of the child in Irish law by inserting a new Article 42A into the Constitution. Despite this positive development, full implementation of the Article into Irish law remains outstanding. In addition, the State has not yet fully incorporated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Irish law.
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PDF icon Right to Education (Fact_Sheet_No_3_Right_to_Education.pdf | 99 kB)

The vast majority of primary and secondary schools in Ireland are owned and run by a religious patron often leading to preferential treatment for children of a particular religion including in relation to school admissions. Despite commitments by government to increase the number of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools progress has been slow limiting education options for parents and children.
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PDF icon Right to Health (Fact_Sheet_No_6_Right_to_Health.pdf | 91 kB)

Overcrowding and waiting times continue to have a detrimental effect on health outcomes for patients. There has been a lack of progress on the Government's commitment to introduce universal health care.
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PDF icon Right to Mental Health (Fact_Sheet_No_12_Right_to_Mental_Health.pdf | 144 kB)

Mental health services continue to use coercive and restrictive practices like non-consensual psychiatric medication and electroshock as methods for the treatment of patients. Lack of availability of non-medication centred treatment and community housing choices continue for people with mental health difficulties
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PDF icon The Rights of Older People (Fact_Sheet_No_13_Rights_of_Older_People.pdf | 107 kB)

No implementation plan has been developed to ensure the roll out of the National Positive Ageing Strategy. The impact of austerity policies has had a significantly detrimental effect on the availability of support services for older people. Cuts to funding for the Nursing Home Support Scheme since 2014 has seen a rise in waiting times.
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PDF icon The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Fact_Sheet_No_4_Rights_of_Persons_with_Disabilities.pdf | 102 kB)

Ireland has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
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PDF icon The Right to Adequate Housing (Fact_Sheet_No_7_Right_to_Adequate_Housing.pdf | 112 kB)

No action has been taken to further the recommendation of the Convention on the Constitution to protect the right to adequate housing in the Constitution. The current housing and homelessness crisis in Ireland has led to a significant increase in the number of families and children becoming homeless. 
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PDF icon Traveller and Roma Rights (Fact_Sheet_No_16_Traveller_and_Roma_Rights.pdf | 88 kB)

Despite the recommendation of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality in 2014, the Government has failed to recognise Travellers as an ethnic group. Many Travellers and Roma in Ireland continue to experience significant levels of exclusion, deprivation and discrimination in access to education, accommodation, public services and employment. 
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PDF icon Violence against Women (Fact_Sheet_No_10_Violence_against_Women.pdf | 100 kB)

Ireland has signed but not yet ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). There is currently insufficient data on the nature and extent of domestic violence in Ireland.
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