The UN Human Rights Committee published its findings after examining the implementation of civil and political rights in six countries, including Ireland, today, July 27.

Ireland displayed "many positive developments," Vasilka Sancin, vice-chair of the UN committee said during a press briefing in Geneva today, but the Committee still has concerns about "past human rights violations," especially in Mother and Baby Homes, and the "increase of hate speech and hate crime" in the country, especially during COVID-19.

Ireland has been asked by the Committee "to take measures to ensure all human rights violations" in Irish Mother and Baby Homes "are fully recognized." 

The Committee made this request in regard to "the alleged failure of the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Child Homes to investigate all abuses committed in institutions where unmarried women were sent to give birth."

Additionally, the Committee "called for establishing a transitional justice mechanism to fight impunity and guarantee the right to truth for all victims."

Regarding "reports of increases in hate crime and discriminatory incidents, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic," the Committee has recommended that Ireland "redouble its efforts to combat hate speech and incitement to discrimination or violence based on race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation."

It also called for "improvement in data collection and effective measures to prevent and sanction hate speech.”

The Committee's findings were published at the culmination of its latest session, which reviewed Ireland, as well as Luxembourg, Uruguay, Georgia, Hong Kong-China, and Macao-China, between June 27 and July 27.

The six parties are among the 173 members of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and are required to undergo regular reviews by the Committee of 18 independent international experts on how they are implementing the Covenant as well as the Committee's previous recommendations.

Ireland was reviewed on July 4 and July 5, with participation from Ireland's Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman.

In Dialogue with #Ireland🇮🇪, Experts of the Human Rights Committee praise legislation combatting hate crimes, raise issues concerning rights abuses at institutions.

More in our meeting summary:

— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) July 6, 2022

In its full concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of Ireland, the Committee additionally laid out recommendations regarding the domestic implementation of the Covenant, anti-corruption measures, gender equality, violence against women, abortion, institutional care, human trafficking, refugees and asylum seekers, the Traveller and Roma community, freedom of religion, peaceful assembly, right to privacy, and participation and transparency of the electoral system.

The same day the Committee's findings were published, the Irish government approved proposals to establish an independent Office to lead an intervention, which would include excavation, recovery, analysis, identification (if possible), and re-interment of children’s remains at the site of the former Mother and Baby Institution in Tuam, Co Galway. 

📢 The Government has today approved a proposal by Minister @rodericogorman, to establish an independent Office to lead an intervention at the site of the former Mother and Baby Institution in Tuam, Co. Galway.

Press release at:

— Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, Youth (@dcediy) July 27, 2022