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O’Brien criticises Ireland’s dodgy dossier to UN

10 March, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Speaking following the Government’s responses to 50 outstanding human rights recommendations made to Ireland last year by UN member states, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Deputy Jonathan O’Brien while there were some positives, the bulk of the report was a collection of dodgy claims, outright evasions and deliberate falsehoods.
The Cork North Central TD said;
“Sinn Féin welcomes the Government committing to sign new human rights treaties to help protect persons with disabilities and rights like health and housing in Ireland.
“However, for the most part, the Government’s response is a bit dodgy. For example, they claim they are aiming to deliver a health service based on need not income, but the proposed universal health insurance system will not actually do this.
“They make the frankly ludicrous claim that the Government’s housing policy is to “enable all households to access good quality housing appropriate to household circumstances.” Even a casual glance at the Government’s approach to housing, which prioritises home ownership, would tell you that this is not the case.
“UN member states urged the Government to incorporate children’s rights into Irish law. The Government says it will do this and amend the Constitution accordingly. But this constitutional amendment will only be concerned with children’s rights concerning adoption and guardianship. It will not enshrine broader socio-economic rights in the Constitution as the UN recommended.
It is simply not true to say that Irish law is in conformity with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and fundamentally dishonest of the Government to suggest that they have accepted many of these recommendations in full, when their plans for implementation fall far short of what is actually needed to address them.
“If the Government are genuine in these responses, which will receive official endorsement in Geneva next week, they must demonstrate their commitment by publishing an implementation plan alongside the responses to show how they will deliver on these promises.”

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITOR:
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process of the UN Human Rights Council (established in 2006), where the domestic human rights records of all 192 UN Member States are reviewed every four years.

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