Resource type: Video
Ireland’s UPR was written and produced by award winning film maker Aoibheann O’Sullivan. The film documents the compilation and submission of Your Rights. Right Now-Ireland’s UPR Stakeholder Report. On 21 March 2011 the Your Rights. Right Now campaign submitted its joint civil society stakeholder report to the 12th Session of the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group. The report, one of a number of stakeholder reports from Ireland, was submitted ahead of Ireland’s upcoming examination under UPR in Geneva on 6 October 2011.
In her film, Aoibheann examines the importance of the UPR process both as a mechanism for holding Ireland to account for its record on human rights and for the innovative way in which this is achieved. As part of the UPR process, a state’s record on human rights undergoes detailed scrutiny by other UN member states that can, and often do, make recommendations based on the information they have received from both from the state party and from stakeholders prior to the examination process.
Filming for Ireland’s UPR took place throughout the month-long nationwide consultation process in February this year. During this time Your Rights. Rights Now openly invited submissions and met directly with representatives from NGOs, community groups and civil society organisations together with ordinary members of the public to hear their views on Ireland’s current human rights record as expressed in their own words. Participants who took the time to attend the consultative public information sessions were given an opportunity to raise concerns on a wide range of issues.
The film also documents a number of specific human rights issues raised in the report and explores why UPR can be a more effective vehicle for ensuring State accountability in relation to its human rights record compared to other UN treaty monitoring exercises. These include conditions for prisoners within the Irish penal system, negative aspects of the asylum process, women’s reproductive rights and diversity and equality in education.
Other issues highlighted within the report but not included in the film concern the need to further advance the rights of women in Ireland; restrictive practices in relation to employment ; experiences of social exclusion; widespread discrimination of minority groups in public participation and access to services; access to justice and to effective remedy within Ireland’s judicial system; restrictive immigration, issues relating to family life, privacy and equality; conditions within the prison service and other detention facilities and dwindling financial support for the mechanisms and infrastructure to safeguard equality and human rights.
Your Rights. Right Now is the collaboration of 17 leading Irish NGO’s, trade unions and civil society groups.
Click here to read the report