Civil rights groups want mechanisms to protect the most vulnerable

Friday 13 June 2014 19.42
Survivors of Symphysiotomy is one group meeting the UN Human Rights Committee
Survivors of Symphysiotomy is one group meeting the UN Human Rights Committee

A group of Irish civil rights organisations is urging the United Nations to demand that Ireland put in place mechanisms that would protect the rights of the most vulnerable.

The audit, carried out by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, highlights some of the key concerns in relation to Ireland's human rights record.

The main concerns are: the need for a national mechanism to enforce the international human rights standard, the need for independent mechanisms for truth finding and redress, and the need to empower women and minority groups.

Mark Kelly of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties said they were looking at reconstituting the independence of a new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

He added: "But we're also looking at the need for effective monitoring mechanisms for garda stations, complaints procedures for prisons and inspection procedures and monitoring procedures in relation to the treatment of people with disabilities.

"These are international convention obligations but if we don't have in place at national level proper monitoring, then the connective tissue between what goes on in Geneva and what actually happens on the ground in Ireland is missing."

The list of issues will provide a basis for discussions between the UN Human Rights Committee and Ireland, during a scheduled appearance in two weeks.

One of the groups travelling to Geneva to meet the UN Human Rights Committee, in advance of Ireland's appearance, is Survivors of Symphysiotomy.

They have recommended to the UNHRC that a statutory inquiry be set up to investigate the practice of breaking a woman's pelvis for childbirth, which occurred in some Irish maternity hospitals.