Irish Penal Reform Trust

LIVE broadcast: Ireland's First Periodic Review under UNCAT

26th May 2011

Geneva: 23 and 24 May 2011

Ireland’s First Periodic Review under the UN Convention against Torture took place on Mon 23 May and  Tues 24 May. Both sessions were broadcast online at:

Representatives from a number of Irish NGO's, including Liam Herrick and Jane Mulcahy of IPRT, travelled to Geneva to present the Joint Shadow Report to the Committee, and to observe the hearing.

Questions posed by the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) yesterday reflected many of the concerns raised by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) in their Joint Shadow Report to UNCAT, along with those raised by the Irish Human Rights Commission and Justice for Magdalenes.

The Committee Members’ questions included:

  • How does the Government intend to provide justice for women who were held in the Magdalene Laundries?
  • When will the Government legislate to clarify the law on abortion as required by a recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights?
  • What action will be taken to reduce overcrowding and end slopping out in Ireland’s prisons?
  • How does the Government intend to reinforce safeguards against people being returned from Ireland to countries where they face the risk of torture?
  • When will the Government introduce a system for independent investigation of deaths in prison?
  • Why has the rate of recognition as refugees of people seeking asylum in Ireland fallen to the lowest level of any EU state?
  • Will the Government allow the Ombudsman for Children to investigate complaints from children in prison?

Playback the hearing here:



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



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