UPR: Ireland under international scrutiny at UN hearing today

11 May 2016

Generic Image - UN OHCHR Plaque

Other UN member states are putting tough questions on Ireland’s human rights track record to a government delegation at a UN hearing in Geneva today, including our failure to adequately protect basic rights such as housing, health and social security.

Legal rights group FLAC is part of an NGO coalition, Your Rights Right Now, which submitted an independent civil society report on the human rights situation in Ireland. The report reflects on progress achieved since Ireland’s first review in 2011, and lack thereof, as well as challenges which have arisen in the interim. Co-ordinated by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the 17 groups will attend a live screening of the Geneva examination in Dublin today.

Attending the screening this afternoon, Ciarán Finlay, FLAC Legal and Policy Officer, commented: “This new government has a real chance to make an historic stand on basic rights. It has the opportunity now to set a standard in those areas which are so important for people’s daily lives – like housing, healthcare, education, social security, access to justice – that allows people to live in dignity.

“FLAC, together with all the civil society organisations which have contributed to the UPR report, sincerely hopes the government will rise to this challenge of putting human rights at the heart of its policymaking, especially on budgetary decisions.”

FLAC expects that a range of other relevant issues will be raised by country representatives during today’s examination, including greater legal protection for socio-economic rights, expansion of the civil legal aid scheme and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.



Editors’ notes:

  1. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) is a human rights organisation which exists to promote equal access to justice for all. FLAC is an NGO that relies on a combination of statutory funding, contributions from the legal professions and donations from individuals and grant-making foundations to support its work.
  2. FLAC offers basic legal information through its telephone information line (1890 350 250) and free legal advice through its network of 80 volunteer legal advice centres – more at It also campaigns on a range of issues including consumer credit, personal debt, fairness in social welfare law, public interest law and civil legal aid.
  3. The Geneva hearing commences at 1pm Irish time. Live screenings will take place in Dublin, Cork and Galway; full details are available at where there will be a live streaming of the Geneva proceedings. You can also follow live commentary on Twitter at #UPR2016 and under @flacireland or @RightsNowUPR
  4. FLAC’s submission to Ireland’s 2nd UPR review, dated Sept 2015, is available at on our website. The full civil society report is at
  5. FLAC has prepared a number of UPR factsheets on:
    1. Access to Justice:
    2. Civil society space:
    3. Economic, social and cultural rights:
    4. Racial discrimination:
    5. Social security:
    6. Victims of domestic violence: