UN Human Rights Committee tells Ireland to stop breaching the human rights of atheists and minority faiths


By Michael Nugent

The UN Human Rights Committee today told Ireland to stop breaching the human rights of atheists and minority faiths in the education system, employment, religious oaths and blasphemy law.

The UN report published today vindicates all of the complaints raised by Atheist Ireland when we briefed the Human Rights Committee in Geneva last week, and it makes several recommendations that were specifically suggested by Atheist Ireland.

The Committee was questioning Ireland about its duties under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Education System

The Human Rights Committee is concerned about the slow progress in increasing access to secular education through the establishment of non-denominational schools, divestment of the patronage of schools and the phasing out of integrated religious curricula in schools accommodating minority faith or non-faith children.

It said Ireland should introduce legislation to prohibit discrimination in access to schools on the grounds of religion, belief or other status, and ensure that there are diverse school types and curriculum options available throughout the State party to meet the needs of minority faith or non-faith children.


The Human Rights Committee is concerned that under Section 37(1) of the Employment Equality Acts, religious-owned institutions, including in the fields of education and health, can discriminate against employees or prospective employees to protect the religious ethos of the institution (arts.2, 18, 25 and 27).


  1. The UN still doesn’t get it: they’re suggesting pandering to many religions instead of just Roman Catholicism. The only satisfactory answer is to make all state-funded schools completely secular.

  2. Send for the bishops? Ireland’s got plenty of those already. The UN will have to enlist imams, swamis, lamas and sundry other priests to promote the UN’s aim of religious segregation of schoolchildren..

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