Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 12th Session

Universal Period Review of Ireland

Statement by Australia

6 October 2011


Australia welcomes the delegation from Ireland and appreciates its constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.

We congratulate Ireland for its long-standing commitment to human rights, including in its constitution, institutional frameworks, and vocal and diverse civil society.

Australia notes Ireland’s announcement to form a new national human rights institution, the Human Rights and Equality Commission, by merging two existing entities.

Australia welcomes Ireland’s creation of a dedicated Department of Children and Youth Affairs in June 2011. We note Ireland considers it a priority to hold a constitutional referendum on children’s rights with a view to incorporating those rights in the Irish constitution in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We commend the Government’s commitment to ratify promptly the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and welcome its rigorous implementation of mental health policy as set out in its framework document, A Vision for Change.

We welcome Ireland’s commitment to address gender inequalities through the National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016. We would welcome the opportunity to share Australia’s experiences in this area, noting that Australia has recently appointed a Global Ambassador for Women and Girls to provide high-level advocacy of Australian policies and activity to promote gender equality.

Noting the Government’s acknowledgement of problems in relation to prison accommodation, we encourage Ireland to bring conditions for detainees in Irish prisons in line with international standards.

Australia recommends Ireland:
1. Work with all sectors to ensure the Human Rights and Equality Commission is an effective agent for enhancing the country’s commitment to human rights;

2. Implement its commitment to holding a constitutional referendum on children’s rights with a view to incorporating those rights in the Irish constitution; and

3. Improve conditions for detainees in Irish prisons to bring them in line with international standards.