UN RAPPORTEUR ON HRDs about IRELAND

November 23, 2012

DUBLIN (23 November 2012)  “The overall environment in which defenders operate in Ireland is in general conducive, although more should be done domestically to raise awareness about the profile and role of defenders,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, said today at the end of her first fact-finding mission to the country.

The expert expressed concern about the challenges faced by certain groups of defenders, notably those working on environmental rights and who try to exercise their legitimate right to protest. She also drew attention to the plight of sexual and reproductive rights defenders who are victims of smear campaigns, and those working for the rights of the Traveller community who are excluded from policy making bodies, as well as ‘whistle-blowers’ who are not properly protected.……


The Special Rapporteur also stressed that “blasphemy is currently a criminal offence in Irish legal framework but its codification seems vague, unclear and no longer appropriate,” and welcomed the Government’s initiative to convene a Constitutional Convention which will contemplate the removal of the offence of blasphemy from the current legal framework.  …………….

Ms. Sekaggya recognized that Ireland has been a champion in the protection of defenders at risk in other countries under the European Union Guidelines on human rights defenders. She also acknowledged the Government’s efforts in integrating and promoting the protection of defenders through its development aid.

“Ireland has a unique opportunity to bring human right issues forward now that it has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council and will have the Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2013,” she said. “In this context, I suggest a first assessment of the implementation of the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders.”
 

for the full end-of-mission statement by the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12823&LangID=E

The United Nations in the Heart of Europe | News & Media | IRELAND IS A SUPPORTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS DESPITE CERTAIN CHALLENGES, SAYS UN EXPERT ON RIGHTS DEFENDERS.

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