15th February 2017
IPRT made a submission in advance of the examination of Ireland’s combined sixth and seventh periodic reports under Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in January 2017. IPRT is also in Geneva as part of a delegation of Irish NGO stakeholders for the oral hearings in front of the CEDAW Committee on Monday February 13th 2017, highlighting issues faced by women in the criminal justice system in Ireland. The Irish Government will be examined by the CEDAW Committee on Wednesday February 15th 2017.
This is the first time in over a decade that Irish officials will be examined under CEDAW, and Patricia O’Brien, the Irish ambassador to the UN, will appear on Wednesday 15th February before the Committee.
In the article by Séan McCárthaigh, in The Times (UK) on 15th February 2017, the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) is quoted as saying that too many women were being sent to prison for non-violent offences (including the non-payment of fines), that there is a lack of gender-specific alternatives to prison and also that there is also a lack of open prison facilities for women.
IPRT's submission also highlights that women's prisons are the most overcrowded in the State.
The committee's list of recommendations to the Irish State will be published on Monday 6th March, 2017.