25th May 2020
In advance of Ireland’s third periodic hearing under the UN Convention against Torture, the Committee against Torture (‘the Committee’) has requested information from Ireland to monitor the State's implementation of the Convention, including follow-up issues on the Committee’s previous concluding observations on Ireland.
IPRT made a submission to the Committee in early 2020 to inform its questions for the State in the Committee’s list of issues prior to reporting (LoIPR). Many of the concerns detailed in IPRT's submission are reflected in the Committee’s LoIPR for Ireland’s third periodic review. This includes requests for information on:
In the ‘Other Issues’ section of the LoIPR, the Committee has requested specific information on Ireland’s response to COVID-19, “given that the prohibition of torture is absolute and cannot be derogated from, including within the framework of measures related to states of emergency and other exceptional circumstances”. The Committee explicitly asks the State to “specify the measures taken in relation to persons deprived of their liberty and in other situations of confinement…”. In the context of restrictive measures imposed in prisons in response to COVID-19, this is a welcome line of questioning from the Committee.
The ratification of OPCAT was a concern for other civil society groups in their submissions to the Committee, including the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the Immigrant Council of Ireland, and the Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR) at the School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway as well as Ireland’s national human rights institution, the Irish Human rights and Equality Commission (IHREC). Click on the name of each organisation to view their submissions in full. All other submissions made by civil society are available here.
The ratification of OPCAT is one of IPRT's 5 key priorities for the Programme for Government 2020+ and has been one of our priority areas for campaigning for many years. An opportunity now exists for an incoming government to deliver on the ratification of OPCAT, 13 years after signing. More on our work on OPCAT: opcat-ireland.com
Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.