First Atheist Ireland report from Geneva of UN questioning Ireland on human rights breaches
This is the first Atheist Ireland report of our very successful briefing and lobbying session this week in Geneva. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was questioning Ireland on its human rights obligations. Atheist Ireland was there along with other Irish civil society groups and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
We still have to see the Committee’s concluding observations, but we are satisfied that they responded positively to Atheist Ireland’s main concerns, including religious discrimination in the education system and elsewhere, and the need to hold a referendum to allow abortion rights to be extended.
Significantly, the chair of the Committee said that there are problems in the developing world with regard to separation of church and state, but by European standards separation of church and state is sacrosanct and Ireland is unique.
The civil society groups worked excellently together. We included the Abortion Rights Campaign, Atheist Ireland, Community Law and Mediation, Free Legal Aid Centre, Irish Family Planning Association, Justice for Magdalenes, Pavee Point, Public Interest Law Alliance, Tallaght Trialogue, Threshold and Dr Liam Thornton of UCD. There were also two delegates with a different perspective representing the Pro-Life Campaign and Family and Life.
This first report is an overview of Atheist Ireland’s live-tweets and our retweets from Geneva. FLAC Ireland also has a tweet summary on Storify, and Liam Thornton has a comprehensive set of summaries on humanrights.ie. Together these give an impression of our collective immediate responses to the sessions.
1. Monday 8 June – before the sessions started
[RT] @UN Continues this week in @UNGeneva: Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights http://j.mp/1LRzi2v
[Atheist Ireland] Atheist Ireland will be briefing the UN in Geneva today on religious discrimination in Irish education system
[Atheist Ireland] Atheist Ireland to raise religious discrimination in the Irish education system this morning at UN
[RT] @ATDIreland Today, NGOs are on frontline for ESC Rights, in Geneva at UN for CESCR, and in Dublin for better Constitution!
[RT] @colinlenihan Please follow and @flacireland @_IHREC today as Ireland put under the spotlight on our economic, social & cultural rights standards
[RT] @maeveorourke Magdalene survivors still waiting for redress scheme to be fully implemented- we will tell UN @maglaundries @flacireland @Ka_ODonnell
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Vulnerable most affected by Irish State economic policy, watchdog tells UN http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/vulnerable-most-affected-by-economic-choices-watchdog-says-1.2237966#.VXTEUr6aRQc.twitter
[RT] @realrightsIRL Disabled women are twice as likely to experience sexual violence as a non-disabled women in Ire @InclusionIre http://goo.gl/aNCHwS
[RT] @sineadsineads En route to UN for an exciting day of reproductive rights advocacy with @freesafelegal @Contiggs #abortion #repealthe8th
[RT] @flacireland Jun 8 Kildare folk – tune in to @kfmradio this morning to hear FLAC’s Michael Farrell on importance of changes to #Transgender recognition bill
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Soon @maeveorourke & I will tell UN about Ireland’s failure to fully implement promised health care for Magdalenes
[RT] @maireadenright Excellent inspiring women in Geneva representing us at CESCR incl. @Ka_ODonnell, @maeveorourke and Maeve Taylor of @IrishFPA. Good luck!
[RT] @eracampaign We hope the Govt delegation in Geneva will be asked to justify one of its most shameful decisions: the cuts lone parents allowance
[RT] @maeveorourke I’m at UN with govt 2 yrs after Magdalene apology. Promised Dedicated Unit for survivors still not established
2. Formal session of NGOs briefing UN Committee
[RT] @CC_IHREC First session with Committee on ESC rights begins with meeting @_IHREC and NGO representatives – oral presentations plus Q&A
[RT] @Contiggs Excited to be at the UN today – Irish NGO statements underway! #UNIRL #abortion
[Atheist Ireland] The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission preparing to speak this morning at the United Nations. http://fb.me/3JhX4cwRO
[Atheist Ireland] Emily Logan from IHREC tells UN that Ireland should have an Action Plan on Human Rights
[Atheist Ireland] Emily Logan from IHREC raises issue of private actors delivering vital services
[RT] @_IHREC Barriers facing persons w disabitilies in accessing rights to health, education, employment & housing are clearly set out in report
[RT] @_IHREC Jun 8 Parliamentary oversight that captures the full range of human rights issues is crucial
[RT] @_IHREC Our full report and Executive Summary is available at: http://www.ihrec.ie/download/pdf/ihrec_report_ireland_and_the_international_covenant_on_economic_social_and_cultural_rights.pdf
[RT] @CLMirl Noeline Blackwell of @flacireland kicks off NGO presentations to UN FLAC now speaking at UN says that recession brought suffering to the weakest
[RT] @flacireland Jun 8 Read: @Noeline_B address to UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights this morning http://bit.ly/1KPCrQg
[Atheist Ireland] FLAC raises issue of peoples with disabilities in sheltered workshops
[RT] @eamonntansey @Noeline_B @flacireland lack of disag data must be addressed to improve HR
[Atheist Ireland] Justice for Magdalenes asks for an investigation into the laundries
[RT] @eamonntansey@maglaundries full investigation must be carries out by state.
[RT] @CLMirl Maeve O’Rourke and Dr. Katherine O’Donnell of Justice for Magdalenes paint a distressing picture of ongoing trauma
[RT] @Noeline_B Jane O’sulliva of @CLMIRL points out how better Systems would be a better use of scarce social welfare resources. @realrightsIRL
[Atheist Ireland] Threshold tells UN that Ireland is experiencing a housing crises
[RT] @eamonntansey Housing accessibility disadvantaged groups most impacted. Families entering homelessness. @ThresholdIRE
[RT] @eamonntansey Housing accessibility disadvantaged groups most impacted. Families entering homelessness. @ThresholdIRE
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell@realrightsIRL Barra Lysaght tells UN about Human Rights failure under Article 11: accommodation and housing
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell@TallaTrialogue UN is told about Human Rights issues in relation to Irish mental health systems
[Atheist Ireland] Atheist Ireland will tell the UN that there are no non-discriminatory exemptions if you want to opt your child out of religion in school
[RT] @Sarabethshafer Members of @atheistireland address the committee.
[RT] @eamonntansey@atheistie no non denominational schools at primary or secondary levels.
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Atheist Ireland tells UN about systematic abuses and all-pervasive of Human Rights due to religious discrimination
[Atheist Ireland] Atheist Ireland has just made this speech in Geneva at the UN questioning of Ireland on human rights… http://fb.me/3TZYualHH
[RT] @CLMirl Maeve Taylor addressing the UN committee now on right to health of women&need for lawful abortion on behalf of @IrishFPA & @freesafelegal
[RT] @freesafelegal 14 yrs of prison hang over pregnant women who choose abortion for personal reasons, health risk, foetal anomaly or crime #abortion
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Maeve Taylor tells UN that women’s health, autonomy and dignity are severely impacted due to Ireland’s abortion law
[RT] @IrishFPA IFPA’s Maeve Taylor now highlighting to Committee how Ireland’s #abortion laws affect women’s right to health: http://www.ifpa.ie/sites/default/files/documents/Misc/ngo_joint_oral_statement_cescr.pdf
[RT] @IrishFPA Government not upholding its obligations under Covenant by failing to provide women with necessary health care http://ifpa.ie/sites/default/files/documents/Misc/ngo_joint_oral_statement_cescr.pdf
[RT] @maeveorourke Family and Life tells UN Cttee it has no jurisdiction over abortion & to consider it ‘risks bringing entire UN system into disrepute’
[RT] @eamonntansey@DrLiamT speaks to rights of those in direct provision.
[RT] @eamonntansey@DrLiamT asylum seekers denied the right to work and social security system.
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell @DrLiamT tells UN about appalling treatment of asylum seekers and Travellers & Roma
[RT] @CLMirl NGO presentations wrapped up by @DrLiamT of @UCDLawSchool , outlining violations of ESC rights in direct provision
[RT] @CLMirl Irish NGOs have concluded address to UN CESCR. Delighted to have had chance to advocate for right to social security
[RT] @saoirse_b So many #ESCrights issues raised in context of CESCR exam by @_IHREC followed by civil society orgs coordinated by @flacireland
[Atheist Ireland] UN in Geneva now hearing statements from human rights NGOs in Chile and Uganda, then will ask questions about Irish statements
[Atheist Ireland] NGO telling the UN that in Chile majority of schools are private and that children are segregated
[RT] @Noeline_B@CC_IHREC warned of potential harm of privatisation of essential services. Now highlighted re Chile.
[RT] @eamonntansey Ugandan LGBT rights being discussed at CESCR
[RT] @Noeline_B Ireland. Uganda. Same issues at CESCR. Children with disabilities lose out on Education.
[Atheist Ireland] Irish Times report on UN questioning Ireland in Geneva on human rights; includes Atheist Ireland contribution. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/implications-of-austerity-disregarded-un-committee-told-1.2241583
3. Informal session of NGOs briefing UN Committee
We didn’t live-tweet during this, as it was an intensive lobbying session, with Atheist Ireland and the other Irish groups highlighting our issues in more detail and responding to questions from the UN Committee members.
This session was possibly the most useful part of our lobbying, as we could identify for the first time which issues the Committee members felt strongly about. We will include more detail on this in our next report of the event.
4. First day of UN Committee questioning Ireland
[Atheist Ireland] Room starting to fill up here in Geneva for UN questioning of Ireland on ESC human rights
[Atheist Ireland] Irish delegation just about to be examined by UN, there are 21 in the Irish delegation.
[RT] @IrishFPA The UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights will shortly question Government on impact of its restrictive abortion laws
4(a) Opening statement by Ireland
[RT] @KittyHollandIT Min Sean Sherlock beginning address to UN Com ESC Rights…accompanied by 21 civil servants.. whole army here to defend Ire’s record
[RT] @maeveorourke Irish gov starting to address UN. Will we investigate Magdalene abuse or leave women in unidentified graves?
[RT] @KittyHollandIT Jun 8 Min Sherlock tells UN Irish Gov approach was to protect most vulnerable to gtest extent possible during austerity
[RT] @_IHREC Minister Sherlock highlights recent #MarRef result as it shows commitment to equality
[RT] @KittyHollandIT “We have not been as successful as we shld have been” in housing people says Min Sherlock at UN
[RT] @RGallr Minister @seansherlocktd says new inter-dept Cttee on Human Rights will ‘facilitate timely reporting’ to UN treaty bodies
[RT] @KittyHollandIT Female participation in politics “requires additional effort” Min Sherlock tells UN
[RT] @KittyHollandIT Decision on Traveller ethnicity will be reached “shortly” Min Sherlock tells UN
[RT] @maeveorourke Irish govt says no systematic abuse happened in Magdalene Laundries.I’m at UN w @maglaundries @flacireland to refute http://tinyurl.com/ngxp43n
[RT] @KittyHollandIT No mention in Min Sherlock’s speech at UNIRL of abortion or atheists’ rights
[RT] @DrLiamT A summary of @seansherlocktd’s comments to #CESCR #UNIRL Update 4: Minister Sherlock Addresses the Committee http://humanrights.ie/socio-economic-rights/unirl-update-4-minister-sherlock/
4(b) Committee questions Ireland
[RT] @Noeline_B@seansherlocktd has completed his opening speech. Questioning starts now. CESCR Rapporteur on Ireland starts
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about impact assessments on the enjoyment of economic social and cultural rights
[Atheist Ireland] UN says their recommendation since 2002 falling on deaf ears re domestic application of the Covenant
[Atheist Ireland] UN rapporteur Mr Pillay tells Ireland that its reports are not up to date and therefore hard to accurately analyse impact
[RT] @eamonntansey Jun 8 CESCR questions Govt report data only up to 2008. Period of crisis not contained in state report.
[Atheist Ireland] UN rapporteur Mr Pillay tells Ireland it is not good enough that ESC treaty rights are not incorporated into Irish law
[RT] @maeveorourke Jun 8 UN CESCR Rapporteur for Ireland, Mr Justice Pillay, calls on Ireland to make economic,social and cultural rights justiciable
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Ireland held to account over mandate and resourcing of Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks will the government introduce legal aid to empower the disadvantaged
[RT] @Noeline_B Jun 8 Mr Pillay questions get to heart of protection ESC rights -what are the structures to MAKE SURE that government respect them
[Atheist Ireland] UN ask state how it will decide public policies to respect ESC rights
[RT] @_IHREC Rapporteur Justice Pillay expresses concern about lack of HR & equality assessments on austerity measures to prevent negative impact
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about non discrimination and the right to an effective remedy
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about law in Ireland not covering all possible grounds of discrimination
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about gender equality and the failure to gather data
[RT] @sineadsineads Procedural schedule at CESCR moved around in order to accommodate state specialist on #abortion to speak this afternoon. #ontheedgeofmyseat
[RT] @PaveePoint UNESCR asks the State what steps it has taken to protect the rights of Travellers and Roma in Ireland?
[RT] @Noeline_B CESCR committee asks -if Ireland could incorporate European human rights by law why not do the same for the UN covenant?
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about EU law and what is the status of the rights in the Covenant.
[RT] @RGallr Committee member Mr Rodrigo Uprimny asks re justiciability of ESR: ‘argument that Ireland has a dualist system is not enough’
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about Constitutional Convention recommendation to include ESC rights in the Constitution
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks government about about direct provision
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Irish Govt.told UN is concerned at multiple breaches in human rights by system of direct provision.
[RT] @_IHREC Rodrigo Uprimny of #CESCR asks about the possible inclusion of discrimination based on socio-economic status in equality lesgislation
[Atheist Ireland] Mr Uprimny and Ms Shin ask Ireland about right to remedy for survivors of Magdalene laundries
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Second member of UN C’tee asks Irish Govt. why it has not fully investigated abuses of Magdalene Laundry & ascribed responsibility?
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about abortion and says Constitution elevated status of unborn to citizen
[Atheist Ireland] Ms Shin says Irish law gives more priority to unborn foetus than to pregnant women whose health is at risk
[RT] @KittyHollandIT Commisioner Heisoo Shin tells Govt Ire gives more rights to unborn than to women’s health. Asks how Govt will reconcile this
[Atheist Ireland] Ms Shin asks what is Ireland’s system of implementing recommendations from treaty bodies, eg on abortion, otherwise it means nothing
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks how state implemented Recommendations from Human Rights Committee last year on abortion
[RT] @eamonntansey disaggregated data major area of interest for CESCR
[RT] @eamonntansey National woman’s strategy under the spotlight at CESCR.
[RT] @CLMirl UN: women’s position in Ireland falls short of equality. Example of lone parents. Govt asked to explain
[Atheist Ireland] Ms Shin says danger to life is only one extreme case of right to abortion under ESC right to health
[RT] @freesafelegal CESCR cmte now raises questions about abortion & impact on right to sexual and reproductive rights of women
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks how our abortion laws are compatible with the Covenant
[Atheist Ireland] Mr Uprimny asks how Irish abortion law is compatible with right to sexual and reproductive health of women
[Atheist Ireland] Mr Uprimny says Ireland has one of the most punitive and restrictive abortion rights because of Constitution
[RT] @IrishFPA UN Committee asks Government why it does not hold a #referendum on #abortion & what about women unable to travel to access services
[RT] @_IHREC Justice Pillay asks State about implications of law on abortion for women on low incomes or migrant women who cannot travel
[RT] @PaveePoint UNCESCR asks whether there a cohesive approach by the State party to all rights
[RT] @DrLiamT Committee member: “You have 9 grounds prohibiting discrimination? Why only 9 grounds. Discrim should not happen full stop”
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about austerity measures and framework under which measures were adopted
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about memo of understanding and impact on ESC rights
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about burden of debt crises on families
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks what are the lessons learned from austerity, what consultation took place.
[RT] @_IHREC CESCR member De Schutter asks State if austerity measures were temporary, proportionate, non-discriminatory & maximised resources
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Irish Govt. asked if it thought Austerity imposed by Troika impacted badly on Human Rights
[RT] @CLMirl Irish govt delegation facing difficult questioning from UN
[RT] @DrLiamT Really significant questions on debt and imposed austerity in Ireland & asking who is responsible
[RT] @CLMirl UN committee asks what govt has learned from crisis – consultation, resource allocation, impact assessment, progressive realisation
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about denominational schools and the requirement to produce baptismal Certs
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks government will it ban religious discrimination in access to education as this is clearly a breach of the Covenant
[Atheist Ireland] Mr Dasgupta tells Ireland that requiring baptism certs in schools is a clear breach of human rights
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks the state again about Corporal punishment against children
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about lone female parents and poverty
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about childcare and how affordable it is
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about mental health and mental abuse
[RT] @RGallr Committee asking about care of persons with intellectual disability in congregated settings, Áras Attracta mentioned by name
[RT] @eamonntansey Corporate tax rate and regime, an obstacle to the provision of public services?
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about new sanctions penalising job seekers
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about the requirement of residence and travellers and also legal aid in access to ESC Rights
[RT] @_IHREC CESCR member Ravenberg asks State about placement of children in adult mental health facilities as raised by @CC_IHREC this morning
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about non discrimination in the Constitution and the fact that it refers to citizens and not all rights holders
[RT] @DrLiamT OK, think this is really the final list of questions for now @humanrightsblog (http://humanrights.ie/socio-economic-rights/unirl-update-no-5-the-committee-questions-minister-sherlock/) Min Sherlock now responding
4(c) Ireland responds to Day 1 questioning
[Atheist Ireland] Minister Sherlock tells UN of the gargantuan problems that Ireland had in relation to the economic crises
[Atheist Ireland] State tells UN that the content of the covenant is to a large degree covered by domestic legislation
[Atheist Ireland] Colin Wrafter tells UN that a decision on the recommendation from Constitutional Convention on ESC rights will be given by the Dail shortly
[Atheist Ireland] State tells UN that abortion is limited and in relation to health a further Constitutional Referendum will be needed
[Atheist Ireland] Reading out Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution now
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell State says that women in crisis pregnancies can have counselling & post-termination counselling (for abortions not available in Ire)
[RT] @freesafelegal Ireland says guidance 4 PLDPA details ‘referral pathways’ but responsibility for med guidance is up to medical professional bodies
[RT] @sineadsineads CESCR Rapporteur Mr Pillay very simply asks ‘Why doesn’t the Irish Gov hold a referendum on abortion?’
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Deaglan de Bradún of DoJ says State is “contemplating” National Plan on Human Rights – would it “add value” to what is already being done
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Deaglan de Bradún of DoJ says Action Plan on Racism not to be renewed but Racism will be a core element of new migrant integration strategy
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Deaglan de Bradún of DoJ says Action Plan on Racism not to be renewed but Racism will be a core element of new migrant integration strategy
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Deaglan de Bradún of DoJ mentions @PaveePoint and their work to empower Roma to conduct their own needs assessment
[RT] @PaveePoint Department of Justice representative, State hopes to have new Traveller & Roma Integration Strategy in place by the end of 2015
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell Deaglan de Bradún DoJ says that data collection on vulnerable groups is being discussed at Cabient committee on social policy.
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell DoJ on Magdalenes: says there was an INDEPENDENT inquiry — there was not. There was an INTERDEPARTMENTAL inquiry
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell DoJ says the largest group representing Magdalenes say no inquiry is needed. Who is this group? Where is their statement?
[RT] @maeveorourke At UN in Geneva, Irish govt remains resolute in refusal to investigate Magdalene Laundries #disappeared women
[RT] @DrLiamT The Government have but forward “a generous, eh, a humane” scheme as regards Magdelene survivors…
[RT] @DrLiamT Govt official had to correct himself, mistakenly used work “generous” as regards scheme and then said “humane”
[RT] @RGallr Re disaggregated data – DoJ says needs to not impose excessive administrative burden and also heed data protection measures
[RT] @RGallr Re Direct Provision – DoJ says report of Working Group ‘expected in a few weeks’
[RT] @Ka_ODonnell DoJ IGNORES UN question on why the Magdalene redress scheme was not implemented in full.
[Atheist Ireland] When Ireland is asked how X is consistent with human rights, they just describe X and ignore the question
[Atheist Ireland] UN tells state that that Covenant imposes on state party obligations which are of immediate effect
[RT] @saoirse_b Great engagement by CESCR members with ESC issues in Irish context, considered and detailed questions
[RT] @drivetimerte In a wide ranging speech @CC_IHREC detailed a number of areas where the human rights of Irish citizens are being failed by the state
[RT] @ATDIreland Back to office! Thank you to all of you in Geneva who’re tweeting from CESCR examination! We’re feeling close
5. Tuesday 9 June – Second day of UN questioning Ireland
[Atheist Ireland] Atheist Ireland is in Geneva today for day two of the UN questioning Ireland about its human rights obligations
[Atheist Ireland] 2nd day started in Geneva of UN questioning Ireland on human rights duties. Atheist Ireland & others tweeting
[RT] @freesafelegal 2nd day #UNIRL Cmte on Eco Soc & Cult Rights exam has begun; should see more ?’s on how IRL’s laws violate rights of women & girls #abortion
[Atheist Ireland] “UN committee examines State’s social rights record”… http://fb.me/7xusQWMxN
[RT] @Kartik__Raj While we launch @AmnestyOnline report “She is #notacriminal” on #Ireland’s #abortion law – NGO friends are in Geneva at CESCR
[RT] @IrishFPA Yesterday a UN Committee asked several pointed questions about effect of Ireland’s #abortion laws on women’s health: https://www.ifpa.ie/node/628
5(a) Second session of questioning
[Atheist Ireland] UN asking the state about employment rate for persons with disabilities
[Atheist Ireland] UN ask state do employers give persons with disabilities reasonable accommodation
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state to provide direct comparison between National minimum wage and cost of living
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks what portion of employed persons are on minimum wage
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state is 8.65 per hour sufficient as a minimum wage
[Atheist Ireland] UN now asking about zero hour contracts
[RT] @KittyHollandIT Irish delegation asked by UN about low and zero hour contracts..NB Dunnes Stores.
[RT] @maeveorourke UN CESCR asks @seansherlocktd what govt is doing to combat gender pay gap and higher rate of female unemployment in Ireland
[RT] @flacireland Jun Dreadful: @RCNIreland has funding removed-support already queried in civil society report to UN http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rape-support-network-loses-its-funding-335406.html
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about migrant workers and social assistance
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about asylum seekers accessing employment
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about social welfare decision making process and the amount of appeals
[RT] @CLMirl Why has the CCMA being amended to detriment of borrowers? Qu. from UN – need for appeal and legal advice
[RT] @CLMirl Committee asking about social security system-asking for assurance that erosion is a temporary measure
[RT] @RGallr Both CESCR members Bras Gomes & Pillay ask questions re Social Welfare Appeals system-what steps have been taken to improve process?
[RT] @eamonntansey CESCR Code of conduct on mortgage arrears amended to the detriment of borrowers? #UNIRL Any amendment in sight?
[RT] @PaveePoint Committee asks the State what steps have been taken to protect Travellers rights as a minority ethnic group
[RT] @PaveePoint Committee criticises State’s strategy to improve educational outcomes for Travellers
[RT] @maeveorourke UN asks whether Ireland has a national cultural policy. And will Ireland recognise Travellers as ethnic minority?
[RT] @RGallr CESCR member Ms Maria-Virginia Bras Gomes asks what are the remaining obstacles to the recognition of Traveller ethnicity?
[RT] @eamonntansey CESCR seeks further information on the review of the Mental Health Act 2000. #UNIRL What are Govt intentions in this regard.
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks about New Admissions Bill and if it will remove religious discrimination
[Atheist Ireland] Mr De Schutter asks Ireland about religious discrimination in the Admission to Schools Bill
[Atheist Ireland] Mr De Schutter asks Ireland how can schools be allowed grant preference in access to children of a particular religious background
[Atheist Ireland] Another UN committee member now raising education and asking what measures are being adopted to get rid of discrimination
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state when they are going to set up secular schools
[Atheist Ireland] Mr Kedizia asks Ireland what is impact of religious patronage on right of parents to provide for religious education of children
[RT] @maeveorourke UN #CESCR asks #Ireland about religious ethos of 96% State-funded primary schools: Is this compatible with parents’ right to choose?
[Atheist Ireland] Mr Kerdoun says that Ireland’s replies are standard but don’t address root causes of issues that are being raised
[RT] @eamonntansey School patronage in the spotlight, many questions in this regard.
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about religious patronage of schools and the impact on minorities
[RT] @RGallr Many CESCR questions re schools, Mr Ridrigo Upriminy queries the ‘overwhelming presence of religious schools funded by the State’
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks how parents can choose the education for their children when there are so many Catholic schools
[Atheist Ireland] Mr Kerdoun asks Ireland to speed up access to secular schools and stop children from being refused access on the basis of religion
[RT] @maeveorourke UN CESCR asks Ireland what impact does Catholic patronage have on selection of teachers in Irish schools? May schools discriminate?
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks how the Constitutional Rights (Art 42) of minorities are protected when the vast majority of schools are religious
[Atheist Ireland] UN asks state about the access to education, religious curriculum and the employment of teachers in the education system
[RT] @maeveorourke UN members asking how @EndaKennyTD & Ireland plans to reverse cuts to special educational needs support for children
[RT] @maeveorourke Several UN cttee members asking Ireland about discrimination in national school system against non-Catholic children
[RT] @DrLiamT The Committee is concerned at mental health of asylum seekers due to the system of direct provision
[RT] @maeveorourke UN CESCR asks #Ireland why only 7,500 social housing units will be built in 2015 when 25,000 new homes are needed annually
[RT] @IrishFPA State Failing Women’s Health: our statement on UK abortion figures & #UNIRL questioning of Ireland’s abortion laws: https://www.ifpa.ie/node/628
[RT] @Barnardos_IRL CESCR asks Ire how it ensures child care is offered to parents. Currently among most expensive in OECD and a key child poverty issue
5(b) UN Committee Chair responds
[Atheist Ireland] UN chair says separation of church and state in Ireland is a bit fuzzy (laughter in session room)
[Atheist Ireland] UN chair asks is Ireland a uni or multi cultural society? Seems uni – what happens to rights of religious minorities?
[Atheist Ireland] UN chair says problems in developing world but by European standards separation of church and state is sacrosanct and Ireland unique
[RT] @CLMirl Chairman of UN committee tells Irish govt that it is unique in Europe in the rather “fuzzy” separation of church and state
[RT] @KittyHollandIT Chair of UN committee say division between Chch and State in Ireland seems “fuzzy”. Says this division is “sacrosanct” in most Eur.
[RT] @RGallr Audience laughter at #CESCR session when Chairperson says ‘it seems to me that the separation of Church and State is a bit fuzzy’
5(c) Ireland responds to Day 2 Questioning
[Atheist Ireland] Government delegation have asked for a break at the UN before they answer the questions from the UN
[Atheist Ireland] State claims Article 40.1 (freedom from discrimination) is an extremely strong protection against all forms of discrimination
[RT] @cathosx Having waived their legal rights,the @maglaundaries women cannot access that which they were promised
[RT] @_IHREC State delegation says that Const’l Convention recommendation on incorporating #ESCRights still ‘a live issue for Government’
[RT] @eamonntansey Govt – Aras Attracta Centre inspected by HIQA and passed. HSE 6 step programme to review system.
[RT] @eamonntansey Govt – No provision for paternity leave. Budget 2016 – introduction of 2 weeks.
[RT] @RGallr State response to CESCR re paid paternity leave: we don’t have current provision, but hopes to progress introduction in budget 2016
[RT] @eamonntansey Govt – Domestic Violence Figures 2 years out of date. Obvs – no systematic disaggregated data collection.
[RT] @_IHREC State delegation cites stats on domestic violence see 2014 Garda Inspectorate Report &IHREC Rep s 8.2 http://bit.ly/1dsnit8
[RT] @eamonntansey Govt CPRD – ratification will take place after review of legislation. What ever happened to Progressive realisation??
[Atheist Ireland] Government delegation tells UN that the benefits of the celtic tiger were invested in the needs of people who were unemployed
[RT] @eamonntansey Govt – May need to amend Equality legislation to remove travellers from 9 grounds of discrimination if ethnicity is realised.
[Atheist Ireland] Government delegation tells UN that social welfare system has done its job and helped people out of poverty
[Atheist Ireland] Government delegation tells UN property tax had impact on low income households
[RT] @eamonntansey Govt – state pension increased in crisis. What about fuel allowance and energy poverty?
[Atheist Ireland] State delegation tells UN that the rate of in work poverty is 5%
[Atheist Ireland] UN delegation tells UN that Ireland is a pioneer in setting poverty targets
[Atheist Ireland] Ireland has run down the clock in answering early questions, now only 2 mins per topic left
[RT] @DrLiamT Ireland is very successful in running down time and not really answering questions but broad statements
[Atheist Ireland] Governments tells UN that New Admissions Bill will ensure fairness and inclusion in schools
[Atheist Ireland] Ireland tells UN that new Schools Bill is framework for nondescrimination, but fails to answer question on religious exemptions
[Atheist Ireland] Government delegation tells UN that there are 1032 children educated at home in Ireland
[Atheist Ireland] Ireland tells UN all new primary schools since 2011 are multi-denominational (therefore none are non-denom) @EducateTogether
[Atheist Ireland] State tells UN that 22 new second level schools are multi denominational
[RT] @eamonntansey Govt – Special education spend 15% of total budget. Efforts made to protect front line servces.
[Atheist Ireland] Session now ended, most questions to Ireland not answered orally, will have to be answered in writing over next 48 hours
[Atheist Ireland] UN tells Ireland that it hasn’t answered, if giving women their abortion rights requires a referendum, why not have a referendum?
[Atheist Ireland] UN tells State that Covenant comes first, Covenant has to be applied
[RT] @Noeline_B UNIRL sum up: Committee thanks civil society for good report.Thanks all @realrightsIRL contributors!
[RT] @DrLiamT Now @seansherlocktd delivers final statement to #CESCR #UNIRL and says will reply comprehensively to all questions asked in writing
[Atheist Ireland] UN chair concludes by saying we have established some bridges, but the bridges are not long enough
Wednesday 10 June
[Atheist Ireland] Atheist Ireland now returning from Geneva, where UN asked why Ireland has no abortion vote or secular schools http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/un-says-ireland-must-have-vote-on-abortion-1.2243406
Well done to both Michael and Jane for all your work in promoting the type of Irish society that we need and deserve in 2015 & for highlighting the shortcomings that need to be addressed – following your exploits with interest – keep up the good work