Friday, October 14, 2011

Some issues of concern, which arose during Ireland’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Our initial review of Ireland’s UPR concentrated on the issue of abortion, however there are a number of additional issues in the draft report, which are a cause for concern.
The draft report outlined 126 recommendations in total, 62 of which were accepted by the Irish Government. The Government also made a commitment that it would "study carefully" a further 49 recommendations before the next Human Rights Council session in March 2012.
One of the issues recommended by Mexico and set out in the Irish Government list of accepted recommendations related to making contraceptive information “available and accessible” to “boys, girls and adolescents”.

“Ensure the national availability and accessibility to contraceptive services and methods including through the dissemination of information and education to boys, girls and adolescents taking into account prevention of discrimination based on geographic (sic), status, disability or migrant status”. 

The Government has also agreed to consider the following recommendations made by Spain, Switzerland and Uruguay
The Spanish recommendation  called on the Irish Government to, 
“Deepen the Reform of the law on same-sex marriage and change the concept of traditional family as enshrined in the Constitution”
The fact that the Government are prepared to consider this recommendation it is a cause for grave concern
The Government also agreed to consider Switzerland’s recommendation to “amend Article (sic) 37 of the 1998 Employment Equality Act in order to prevent such discrimination against homosexual and unmarried parents”.
Again this is a cause for concern in that section 37 of the act allows religious institutions, such as schools or hospitals, to hire or to refuse to hire in accordance with their ethos.

The Irish Government also agreed to consider a recommendation by Uruguay to explicitly prohibit “any form of corporal punishment in the family”.