Report on torture and ill treatment in Ireland published ahead of UN scrutiny

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan
Chief Commissioner Emily Logan

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has published a report assessing Ireland’s performance on combatting torture and ill treatment.

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan will present its findings to the United Nations in Geneva, ahead of the UN’s examination and questioning of Ireland.

Minister of State David Stanton is expected to lead the Government’s delegation to Geneva, where the UN will scrutinise Ireland’s compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).

The Commission’s report focusses on prisoner treatment, conditions of detention, support to victims of trafficking in human beings, policing accountability and oversight, care of people seeking International Protection, redress for victims of historical abuses and ensuring protection for vulnerable children and adults in care.

It identifies “considerable positive legal, policy and institutional developments” since the last time Ireland was scrutinised by the UN.

These include the final closure of St Patrick’s Institution, progress on prison conditions including “slopping out”, legislation to ban FGM, the development of a Domestic Violence Strategy and publication of the Domestic Violence Bill 2017, and the passing of assisted capacity laws.

Ms Logan (pictured) said: “This Commission report will independently inform the UN questioning of Ireland. It highlights the broad spectrum of current challenges facing people, including those in detention and in custody, those arriving to Ireland seeking asylum, and the State treatment of the most vulnerable children and adults in our society. It makes clear recommendations for action.

“Today’s report shows that while positive developments have been seen in some areas, including the closure of St. Patricks Institution and some progress in legislation around assisted capacity and domestic violence, significant gaps in human rights protection remain, which need to be addressed.”