The UN has today published the list of issues that it will ask Ireland about, under the fourth periodic review of Ireland’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The UN is to ask Ireland about three specifically secular issues raised by Atheist Ireland – the religious oaths for Irish public office holders, discrimination against atheists and religious minorities in Irish primary schools, and the Irish law against blasphemy.
The UN will also ask Ireland about broadening access to abortion to guarantee women’s rights under the Covenant.
Atheist Ireland welcomes this report. We have consistently highlighted that discrimination against atheists and secularists in Ireland is not only socially and politically harmful, but that it is also a breach of our individual human rights of freedom of conscience, freedom from discrimination, equality before the law and the rights of the child.
Atheist Ireland will be making another formal detailed submission to the UN about these issues when Ireland appears before the Human Rights Committee in July 2014.
Meanwhile, we encourage all Irish citizens who face these discriminations to contact your TDs and Government Ministers, and ask them to ensure that Ireland complies with our international human rights obligations to atheists and other minorities.