The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established in 2006 to assess how individual member states of the United Nations respect their human rights commitments. The process highlights any gaps in human rights fulfilment and protection in the state under review. Each state is reviewed under the UPR every four years.
In October 2011, Ireland’s human rights record was examined under the UPR. Six states - France, Denmark, UK, Slovenia, Spain, and the Netherlands - made recommendations in relation to Ireland’s restrictive laws on abortion. They also called for firm timelines for the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of A, B and C v Ireland. Although none of the recommendations on abortion were accepted, the Government made a commitment to address the A, B and C v Ireland judgment in an “adequate and comprehensive” manner (more on implemention process here) and to “meet our obligations under the convention of human rights”.
Ireland’s human rights record will be reviewed under the UPR again in 2016.
The IFPA actively engaged with the first UPR of Ireland in 2011, and submitted a Stakeholder Summary Report to the UPR Working Group, highlighting the human rights violations of women and girls in Ireland who are denied access to safe and legal abortion services within the State.
The submission highlighted how the disproportionate and ineffective nature of Ireland’s exceptionally restrictive regulation of abortion runs contrary to a number of UN human rights treaties to which Ireland is a signatory. The submission focused on Ireland’s breaches of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Read the full submission here. A submission in relation to the second UPR of Ireland will be made in September 2015.
In addition, the IFPA is involved in the Your Rights Right Now Campaign, which is co-ordinated by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
Above: the IFPA’s Meghan Doherty makes an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council in March 2012, highlighting the need for the Irish Government to heed other states’ recommendations and reform its prohibitive regulation of abortion.
• Your Rights Right Now - Ireland's UPR Campaign
• ICCL's Plain English Guide to The Universal Periodic Review
• ICCL's UPR Toolkit for Civil Society
• UPR Website
• ICCL Press Release on Government response to Recommendations.
• IFPA: Press release regarding the UPR recommendations.
• IFPA’s Submission on Ireland to the UPR Working Group.
• Ireland's Civil Society UPR Stakeholder Report.
• Irish Government's Report to the UPR.
• Written Statement by the IPPF on the UPR's Recommendations.