Monday 6 June, 2011.

The UN Committee against Torture (UNCAT) has today issued its concluding observations, following Ireland's first examination in Geneva last month under Article 19 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Committee in its statement has acknowledged Ireland's commitment to engage with them in a constructive manner. Additionally, the Committee has commended Ireland for the detailed written replies supplied by the Irish delegation to the Committee during the formal examination hearing, and for the significant and ongoing progress made by the authorities in recent years in areas such as the prevention of domestic violence and human trafficking.

The Committee's concluding observations cover a wide range of different areas, from prison conditions to the total prohibition of corporal punishment, the Magdalene Laundries, the follow-up to the Ryan Report and the processing of applications for refugee status. These observations impact on the remit of several Government Departments.  It is worth noting, for example, that the Committee has recommended that Ireland should adopt specific time frames for the construction of new prison facilities which comply with international standards.

The Minister for Justice and Equality will, in conjunction with his cabinet colleagues, closely examine the concluding observations and recommendations of the Committee.

The Government will, in due course, communicate with the Committee about the points raised.