Irish delegation in Geneva today for UN torture examination

David Stanton
David Stanton

Minister of state David Stanton is in Geneva from today to lead Ireland’s delegation to an expert United Nations committee on torture.

Ireland is being scrutinised for the second time for its compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), which it ratified in 2002.

In his opening address to the committee, Mr Stanton said: “Ireland has a strong human rights record. We regard the UNCAT process as a key component of those international human rights instruments to which we are a party. It is through these instruments that we seek to protect and vindicate rights of persons both at home and abroad.

“The process whereby the international community holds each UN Member State to account in relation its record on torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is one we welcome. We look forward to engaging in an open and frank dialogue with the committee.”

Mr Stanton also said Ireland is “fortunate in having a vibrant and independent community and voluntary sector that advocates on behalf of those whose voices need to be heard when Government is making policy choices”.

He said he was “delighted” that the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, among others, were in Geneva as well.

The commission will present its own report assessing Ireland’s performance on combatting torture and ill treatment.

It identifies “considerable positive legal, policy and institutional developments” since the last time Ireland was scrutinised by the UN.