On Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, Atheist Ireland will brief the United Nations Human Rights Committee about Ireland’s failure to keep its obligations under an important human rights treaty: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Liberties.
On Monday and Tuesday, the UN Human Rights Committee will be quizzing the Irish State delegation, led by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, about what it has done about recommendations made when Ireland was last examined in 2008.
Ireland still has no non-denominational schools, and its proposals will not provide any. Primary schools are still publicly funded private bodies, almost all Christian, with no effective remedy to vindicate Covenant rights.
Schools can still demand Christian baptism certs for admission. If you get in, you still face an integrated religious curriculum which deprives you of access to a secular education. And if you want to opt out of religion classes, there are still no non-discriminatory exemptions or alternatives to accommodate your wishes.
To become the President or a judge or a member of the Council of State in Ireland, an individual must swear a Christian oath. Ireland has consistently refused to follow the recommendations of the Human Rights Committee to amend its Constitution.
These are not isolated incidents. Ireland systemically breaches the Covenant rights of atheists and non-Christians, including in the blasphemy law, exemptions from equality law, and the new Civil Registration Act.
Atheist Ireland will be among several Irish NGOs attending the session, each with a focus on different areas of human rights. Atheist Ireland and independent academic Alison Mawhinney will be focusing on the State’s failure to respect the rights of atheists and minority faith citizens.