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Minister for Justice Alan Shatter Photo by: Google Images

Alan Shatter defends Ireland human rights history to the UN review

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Minister for Justice Alan Shatter Photo by: Google Images

The Irish government has been urged to introduce several human rights treaties to protect the most venerable in society, such as those with disabilities, migrants and prisoners.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter is before the UN Rights Council in Geneva this week, where all 192 members scrutinize each other.

The committee questioned Irish women’s reproductive rights and demanded concrete legislation on the issue of abortion. 

The minister vowed to deal with the abortion issue in a “adequate and comprehensive” way and to “meet our obligations under the convention of human rights”.

Members states have expressed concerns about women’s rights, racism, asylum seeks rights and the fake marriages. They also queried the delay in implementing a number of treaties.
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The rights of prisoners was also questioned, with overcrowding in prisons and violence among inmates being flagged. However Minister Shatter told members that Ireland does not have a problem with excessive violence in jails.

"There isn't a question of excessive violence within the Irish prison system," he told the committee.

"Prisoners occasionally have difficulties with each other - I don't think our prison system is any different in that context to other prisons within the European Union generally."

Meanwhile the Irish Human Rights Council has welcomed the UN’s scrutiny of the State’s record in human rights.

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