IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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CEDAW asks Irish government questions on women in prison

21st March 2016

On Wed 16th March, CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) published its 'List of Issues' for the Irish Government prior to the submission of the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Ireland. The List of Issues is available here: wym-1458564332995

IPRT welcomes the inclusion of key questions at para. 24, which reflect IPRT's submission on women prisoners:

24. Disadvantaged groups of women

Please provide updated information and data on the human rights situation of elderly women, including widows, migrant women, Traveller and Roma women, women with disabilities in respect of education, employment and access to health services as well as their protection from sexual violence and abuse. What measures have been taken to revise the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1993 so that authorities can be sanctioned if they do not take measures to provide accommodation for Travellers? According to information before the Committee, the number of women committed to prison has more than doubled between 2007 and 2014, and that the majority of women are incarcerated for non-violent offences and the non-payment of fines. What steps have been taken to implement the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014, which seeks to reduce the high number of women who are incarcerated for defaulting on court-ordered fines? Please provide age disaggregated data on the number of women and girls in the State party’s prisons and other places of deprivation of liberty that are under detention pending trial and those serving prison sentences and the crimes that they committed. Please provide information on concrete measures to address the over-representation of Traveller women in prison and the prevalent stereotypes that increase the risk of their imprisonment. Please state the measures in place to protect pregnant female prisoners and to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services. What measures are in place to enhance mental health services of women in prisons?