Irish Penal Reform Trust

IPRT needs to go to the UN: can you help get us there?

3rd July 2014

UPDATE: Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many people, IPRT got to Geneva! We managed to raise €620 of the €715 needed to cover the flight and accommodation costs. You helped us get there. Thank you!


Can you help IPRT get to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva?

IPRT has successfully used international human rights monitoring mechanisms to bring about real reform in the Irish penal system – read more about our achievements here. But our work is not done yet.

IPRT recently made a written submission to the UN Human Rights Committee on the Fourth Periodic Examination of Ireland under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

In the submission, IPRT raises a number of concerns about the penal system in Ireland: the ongoing detention of children in adult prisonschronic overcrowding, a lack of sufficient in-cell sanitationdeaths in custody, and a shortage of resources for rehabilitative activities within prisons. More than 300 prisoners still slop out in Ireland. Some children are detained in adult prisons, and just this year a report was published detailing the brutal death in 2006 of a 21-year-old beaten to death in a cell holding 7 prisoners.

To make the strongest case for change possible, it is essential that IPRT travel with the Irish NGO delegation to Geneva this month, in order to make an oral presentation to the Human Rights Committee on these issues.

We would like to send just one person from IPRT, Executive Director Deirdre Malone, to Geneva.

We know from our achievements in 2011, when we travelled to Ireland’s hearing under the UNCAT, that our presence in Geneva to meet with the Committee and answer their questions played a crucial role in securing the strongest recommendations for improvements in the Irish prison system.

Our request:

As IPRT does not accept any government funding in order to safeguard our complete independence, it is difficult for us to find funding for the trip.

We are asking our members and friends if they can make a donation towards the costs, which we have tried to keep as low possible – unfortunately, Geneva is an expensive destination:

The total cost of flights and accommodation for Deirdre is €715. Here is the breakdown of costs:

  •    Plane to Geneva: €123
  •  Plane back from Geneva: €334
  • 2 nights’ hotel accommodation = €258 (€130 per night for single accommodation)
Can you help us fund the trip? Any donation, no matter how small, will greatly support our efforts to get to Geneva. Donations can be made online here:

Thank you so much for considering helping IPRT to get to Geneva.

More about the 111th session of the UN Human Rights Committee:

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), together with the CCPR-Centre based in Geneva, is co-ordinating the participation of civil society for the review of Ireland during the 111th session of the Human Rights Committee. The formal briefing of NGOs including oral interventions from IPRT is an opportunity for us to update the committee on issues and to comment on the State replies to the list of issues. The Committee may ask follow up questions during the formal briefing session.

This is an invaluable opportunity for IPRT to directly interact with the Committee members, especially in providing answers to the questions raised by the Committee, engaging in Q&A and highlighting our priority concerns.

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



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