Ireland’s Universal Periodic Review took place in Geneva recently where Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter defended Ireland’s human rights record. Delegations of other United Nations countries put questions to the minister and made recommendations on how Ireland could improve shortcomings in the human rights area.
Of particular interest to us, is that the government have expressed their commitment to reducing the time taken to process applications for citizenship to an average of six months. It was also commented that the implementation of citizenship ceremonies demonstrated a positive attribute to welcoming new citizens into Ireland.
The United Nations outcome report on Ireland was adopted on Monday 10th of October by the government and included 126 recommendations. Some of the noteworthy recommendations include that all asylum seekers in Ireland should be able to effectively accede to the process of determination of their refugee condition and that decisions on the necessity for international protection be reviewed and be subject to independent judicial supervision.
It was also suggested that practical and legal measures are adopted to curb racial discrimination and discrimination against migrants and to look at the appeal by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to ratify the 1960 Convention to counter discrimination in the area of education.
It was also interesting to note the suggestion to extend the remit of the Ombudsman to children in prison and asylum seeking children.
It is hoped that these recommendations will be adopted and allow Ireland to improve the current shortcomings in the area.