On 23 and 24 May 2011, Ireland will be examined by the UN Committee against Torture (UNCAT) to judge whether it is meeting its international human rights obligations to prevent torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. IPRT, in conjunction with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, have now published their joint shadow report, which was submitted to the UNCAT on 21st April 2011. The report highlights how Ireland is not meeting its obligations and makes a number of recommendations to the Government.
The report pays particular attention to Irish prisons, and makes a number of recommendations about the prison system, including:
- The State should take all necessary measures to improve conditions of detention, including reducing overcrowding and setting safe custody limits.
- The State must eradicate the “slopping out” of human waste in Irish prisons as a priority issue and set targets to meet this obligation. In the interim, the Irish Prison Service should introduce measures to minimise the effects of slopping out by conducting toilet patrols throughout the night.
- The placement of mentally-ill individuals in Irish prisons should cease.
- An independent prison complaints system must be established either through the prompt establishment of a Prisoner Ombudsman, or through amending or extending the remit of existing bodies.
- Drug-free units should be established across the prison estate and the State should ensure that non-drug using prisoners are not accommodated with known drug-users. A structured approach to reducing and eventually stopping prisoners’ dependency on drugs must be developed.
The report also contains information on rendition, refoulement, deportation, issues related to the Gardaí, deaths is custody and care, domestic violence, FGM, human trafficking, corporal punishment and mental health treatment.