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The Irish Times: 'UN urged to examine Irish human rights lapses'

13th August 2011

Your Rights Right Now logoCalls for improved prison conditions and an independent complaints system for prisoners are among the items which will be considered during the UN periodic review of Ireland, reports Pamela Duncan in The Irish Times.

The UN Stakeholder Compilation Report is a summary of 60 stakeholder submissions to the Universal Periodic Review on Ireland, and is compiled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The universal periodic review is due to take place in Geneva in October:

"The Irish Human Rights Council and Amnesty International made submissions in which they cited unsatisfactory prison conditions including overcrowding, inadequate sanitation and health care and inter-prisoner violence while a number of stakeholders recommended the ending of the practice of “slopping out” in prisons. The council recommended there should be an increased policy focus on the development of alternative, non-custodial sanctions rather than an increase in overall prison capacity."

The article also reports on the inclusions from the Your Rights, Right Now coalition, made up of 17 bodies including the Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Irish Council for Civil liberties. Among the coalition’s many recommendations are that Ireland establish an independent complaints system for prisoners, migrants and people claiming asylum.

The Irish Penal Reform Trust has further recommended that the remit of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office be extended to allow individual complaints from children held in St. Patrick's Institution.

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