The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Symphysiotomy Survivors Join Rights Groups in Major Report to UN


Press Release


Friday, 13 June 2014

The report can now be downloaded HERE.

This morning (Friday, 13 June 2014), Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) will launch a comprehensive review of Ireland’s performance under the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The 182-page document brings together written questions that the UN’s Human Rights Committee has asked Ireland, the State’s responses, and an entirely new element – a civil society update on Ireland’s progress in implementing its international human rights obligations under the Covenant. The update takes account of human rights developments as recent as this week.

One of the prominent issues covered by the Report is the State’s responsibility to provide redress to the victims of the dangerous and unnecessary surgical practice of Symphysiotomy. The report includes disturbing case study testimony from survivors of the procedure which is likely to generate intense interest at the UN.

Major issues in the report

The report invites the UN Human Rights Committee to recommend that Ireland improve the protection of human rights for vulnerable people by making provision for:

Effective national mechanisms for the implementation/ enforcement of international human rights standards including: 

-          a fully independent and adequately resourced National Human Rights Institution;

-          ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and the introduction of a National Preventative Mechanism to monitor places of detention;

-          an effective and independent prison complaints mechanism ;

-          ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) and the creation of an effective monitoring mechanism.

More effective, comprehensive and independent mechanisms for truth finding and redress for the victims of agents motivated by “religious ethos” including: 

-          victims of the Magdalene Laundries;

-          survivors of involuntary and unnecessary surgical procedures (symphysiotomy and pubiotomy) during childbirth conducted mainly in private hospitals;

-           victims of mistreatment and neglect in so-called ‘mother and baby residential care and adoption facilities;

-          persons discriminated against under employment law on the grounds that their status (civil status, family status, sexual orientation or gender) contravenes the religious ethos of their employer.

Empowerment of women and minority groups whose rights are not respected in Irish society including in relation to:

-          women’s reproductive rights;

-          recognition of Traveller ethnicity;

-          the rights of migrants, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking;

-          the experience of discrimination by minority groups including in relation to ethnicity, religion, ageing and disability.


Printed copies of Ireland’s Civil Society Stakeholder Report under the ICCPR will be available at the launch and representatives of the organisations involved in the Steering Group will be available for interview and comment.


Gareth Cheney of Collins Photo will be filing photos of the press conference to all photo desks.


For press queries, and interview requests, please contact:


Sarah Harte, DHR Communications T: 087 985 8259


Walter Jayawardene

Communications Manager, Irish Council for Civil Liberties

T: +353 87 9981574    E:




  • The report was launched this morning at 9am in Buswells Hotel in Dublin by Mark Kelly and Stephen O’Hare ( Irish Council for Civil Liberties), Marie O’Connor (Survivors of Symphysiotomy) and Hilkka Becker (Immigrant Council of Ireland). It was formally submitted to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva today.


  • The report has been compiled by the ICCL based on the input and advice of a Civil Society Steering Group comprising the following organisations:


– Age Action Ireland

– Educate Together

– Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC)

– Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN)

– Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI)

– Inclusion Ireland

– Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR)(NUI Galway)

– Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) (Coordinator)

– Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA)

– Irish Traveller Movement (ITM)

– Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SoS)

– Trans-gender Equality Network Ireland (TENI)


  • Ireland will appear before the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva to discuss its human rights record on 14 and 15 July 2014.

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shared on both twitter and facebook

Pure barbarism.

These men of "god" and their sadistic love of seeing others suffer, because their invisible "god" in the sky said so.

If anyone else said they heard voices- they would be locked away.

We need George Carlin to awaken the masses of sheeple.



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