Irish Penal Reform Trust

Migrants & Minority Ethnic Groups

The disproportionate representation of migrants and minority ethnic groups in criminal justice systems across the globe is well documented. In Ireland, there has been some research on the rights and experience of migrants and ethnic minorities at policing and sentencing stages, and the over-representation of minority ethnic groups in the prison system has been highlighted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. However, broader issues of racial and ethnic equality in the penal system remain under-explored in an Irish context, particularly in terms of accessing rights and accessing justice.

In 2020, IPRT was awarded funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) to pursue a research and awareness-raising campaign focused on the rights and experiences of migrants and minority ethnic groups in the penal system in Ireland. 

IPRT welcomes UN Human Rights Committee’s clear focus on key human rights issues impacting people in prison

27th July 2022

MEDIA RELEASE: IPRT welcomed the clear focus by the UN Human Rights Committee on issues pertaining to people deprived of their liberty including prison overcrowding, access to adequate mental healthcare, the failure to publish reports relating to the Dóchas Centre, the overrepresentation of Travellers in the penal system and the need to ratify OPCAT.

UL: Irish Travellers' Access to Justice

23rd June 2022

Researchers at the University of Limerick have published Irish Travellers’ Access to Justice, examining the relationship between Travellers and the Irish criminal justice system. The report explored perceptions and experiences of Travellers within the criminal justice system and identified key barriers to engagement between the Travelling Community, An Garda Siochana and members of the Judiciary.

Alternative Report on Ireland’s Fifth Review under ICCPR

30th May 2022

IPRT welcomed the opportunity to provide this alternative report to the UN Human Rights Committee on Ireland’s fifth review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

"Sometimes I'm missing the words": The rights, needs and experiences of foreign national and minority ethnic groups in the Irish penal system

27th April 2022

Very little information exists on the needs and lived experiences of minority ethnic and foreign national prisoners in prisons and on probation in Ireland. This report aimed to bridge that gap and consider these needs and experiences within the context of relevant policy and law. 

Round-up: The rights, needs and experiences of foreign national and minority ethnic groups in the Irish penal system

27th April 2022

We launched “Sometimes I’m missing the words”: The rights, needs and experiences of foreign national and minority ethnic groups in the Irish penal system at a well-attended online event on Wednesday 27 April 2022.

Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy 2022 – 2024

7th March 2022

The purpose of this first ever Criminal Justice Sectoral Strategy is to develop a shared vision for a more joined-up criminal justice system.

IPRT appears before Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community

21st October 2021

IPRT Executive Director Fíona Ní Chinnéide appeared before the Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community on Thursday 21st October to discuss Travellers’ experiences in prison in Ireland and related matters.

Penal Reform International: Short Guide to the European Prison Rules

27th September 2021

In this short guide, the key requirements of the European Prison Rules are highlighted by Penal Reform International, with an asterisk (*) placed next to any rule that was brought in after the 2020 revision.

UK: Reporting on Equalities in Prisons

6th September 2021

Analysis of IMB monitoring reports uncovered some inconsistencies and significant gaps in how IMBs report on equalities in prisons, primarily with respect to the number of equalities areas that are being reported on and the depth of reporting in these areas.

IPRT Submission to the National Anti-Racism Committee

14th July 2021

IPRT welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the public consultation of the National Anti-Racism Committee on the development of a new National Action Plan Against Racism, making seven core recommendations for change.

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