Irish Penal Reform Trust

OpEd: Ireland has not ratified a protocol to prevent torture in places of detention

8th August 2018

The Irish Times has published an OpEd by IPRT Executive Director Deirdre Malone discussing Ireland’s failure to ratify OPCAT.

“At the end of the week, the Government is due to report to the United Nations Committee against Torture on how it is improving protections against torture and ill-treatment in Ireland. Among the long list of issues to be addressed is the process of ratification by Ireland of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, known as OPCAT.”

"Any child or adult deprived of their liberty is vulnerable to potential human rights abuses. [OPCAT] applies equally in a secure children’s care home, a nursing home or a prison. Abuses of vulnerable people are more likely to occur out of public sight, and institutions are not immune to ill-treatment of people in their care."

The OpEd reflects on Ireland’s horrific past, and present, of abuse of vulnerable persons, detailing that ratification is essential to indicate that we will no longer tolerate such ill-treatment behind closed doors.

"In the context of successive revelations of both historic and current abuses, sometimes systemic, of vulnerable people behind closed doors and high walls, it is inexplicable that a mechanism that actively seeks to prevent ill-treatment has not been ratified over 10 years after signing. [Ratifying OPCAT] would demonstrate that we finally understand that to avoid repeating the institutional horrors of our history we must not only learn its lessons but act on them."

Read the OpEd in full here on The Irish Times website.

See more: 

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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