Justice department launches human rights consultation

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, minister for new communities, culture, equality and drugs

The Department of Justice and Equality (DJE) has called for written submissions to help shape a major human rights report to be submitted to the United Nations (UN) next year.

The consultation is being launched as part of Ireland’s engagement with the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which includes the presentation of a five-yearly National Report to the UN by 25 January 2016.

The department is appealing for civil society, stakeholders and individuals to consider how Ireland’s record has progressed since 2011 and priority issues that have emerged in the meantime.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, minister for new communities, culture, equality and drugs, said: “My Department is keen to see submissions from anyone with an interest in human rights and equality–NGOs, members of the public, advocacy groups, and of course, our national human rights and equality body. We are all stakeholders in the future of this country.

“Civil society plays a vital role in the UPR process. I know that in 2011, in the first UPR Cycle, the engagement, cooperation and collaboration between NGOs, stakeholders and the State, along with the contributions of members of the public who made submissions on issues of importance to them, all contributed greatly to a comprehensive and successful review.

“Civil society groups often see things from a different perspective from Government Departments; we value their insights and consider their views seriously. While we may not always agree on individual issues, we all want the same thing – a safe, fair, tolerant and more equal Ireland for all inhabitants.”

Submissions of up to 2,000 words must be emailed to info@upr.ie before 5pm on Friday 23 October 2015.

The Department of Justice and Equality will host a “civil society consultation event” in November 2015 to discuss some of the issues raised by submissions.