Amnesty International welcomes legislative efforts in Ireland to prohibit certain economic activities with illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law, such as the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Business activities in or with illegal settlements, such as the trade in settlement goods and services, contribute to the economy of these settlements and therefore to their viability, development and expansion. States that promote or allow these activities are at least implicitly conferring recognition to an illegal situation and assisting in its maintenance, therefore acting against their international obligations not to recognise as lawful and not to assist in an illegal situation (the establishment of settlements by an occupying power in occupied territory).
This is why Amnesty International is calling on states to ban the import of goods from Israel’s illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to prohibit companies domiciled in their territory from operating in Israel’s settlements or trading in Israeli settlements’ goods and services.
By Emma Jayne Geraghty
Emma Jayne Geraghty works for Amnesty International Canada in Toronto. She was one of thousands of Irish ex-pats who traveled home to Ireland to vote in the historic referendum on whether to repeal the eighth amendment of the constitution, which bans abortion. On May 25th Ireland voted overwhelmingly to repeal the eighth amendment, paving the way for safe and legal abortion services in Ireland. Learn more>>
On May 26, 2018, the people of Ireland sent a powerful message to women and girls that their human rights and reproductive health matter in a historic referendum, with 66.4% votoing YES to ending the almost total constitutional ban on abortion.
Amnesty International advocated for a human rights compliant abortion law in Ireland since 2014 as part of the My Body, My Rights global campaign. The campaign was directed at ending the control and criminalization of sexuality and reproduction around the world.
Reacting to news of the victory for the “Yes” campaign in Ireland’s referendum on abortion, Colm O Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said:
“While the final count is not yet confirmed, it has been formally announced as “Yes” result. Today’s historic referendum result is a victory for equality, for dignity, for respect and compassion. It is a victory for a future Ireland where the human rights of women and girls are respected and protected.
“Today’s important outcome was made possible by the determination of those who campaigned tirelessly for change and by the courage of those women and girls who bravely shared their stories.
“Through this result, the people of Ireland have demonstrated that positive change is possible and have sent a message of hope around the world.”
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Ahead of Ireland's historic referendum on abortion, the #hometovote hashtag has unleashed a wave of solidarity and inspired Irish voters from Nairobi to Toronto to return home and campaign for a woman's right to decide.
When the Irish government finally announced there would be a referendum on repealing its near-total ban on abortion, Ause Abdelhaq, a young Irish expat living in Nairobi, Kenya, was thrilled.
No one under the age of 53 has had the chance to vote to make abortion more accessible in Ireland. The significance of what is being billed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity was clearly not lost on young Irish voters like Ause.
“I'm pretty sure most of East Africa knows how much it means to me at this point, because I went around yelling at everyone "Look at what my little island is doing it's going to be great!",” says Ause, who, like many Irish graduates of his generation, chose to travel abroad to seek work and life experience.
European Court of Human Rights maintains its 1978 judgement
“This is a very disappointing outcome, for the men and their families” - Grainne Teggart
Amnesty International is disappointed at the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling refusing to revise its 1978 conclusion that the treatment to which the United Kingdom subjected the 14 ‘hooded men’ in Northern Ireland did not amount to torture. It is important to note that today’s Court ruling is not a statement that the ‘five techniques’ do not constitute torture as it is legally defined today.
In its 1978 landmark Ireland v UK judgement, in a case taken against the UK by the Irish Government, the Court had found that the UK violated the men’s rights to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment, but that the treatment the men suffered did not amount to torture.
Today, the Court found that the information known to the UK Government at the time about the long-term effects of the ill-treatment, which the Irish Government brought to Court’s attention in this revision request, would not have decisively impacted on the Court back in 1978.
The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.
Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.
The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.
DUBLIN, 29 January 2018 – Amnesty International has welcomed the government’s decision at today’s Cabinet meeting to schedule a referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. The Cabinet decided wording that effectively repeals the Eighth Amendment. It adopted the Attorney General’s recommendation that an enabling clause be inserted to provide greater legal certainty for the Oireachtas to legislate for termination of pregnancy. It was agreed that the Minister for Health will prepare legislation in line with the Joint Oireachtas Committee’s recommendations on abortion access, which includes a 12-week ‘on request’ period for abortion access.
“We are heartened at today’s government backing for legislation framed around a 12-week ‘on request’ model for abortion access, with later gestational limits in specific circumstances. This is a further sign of real political will to put women’s and girls’ bodily autonomy firmly at the centre of abortion law reform. We further welcome the Taoiseach’s personal endorsement of this legislative model as the best way to ensure effective access to this healthcare.
“The judges of the Supreme Court have a chance to put right centuries of human rights abuse. We urge them to take it” – Grainne Teggart
Amnesty International will be an intervenor in a significant Supreme Court case that starts today challenging Northern Ireland’s abortion law.
The case will consider whether Northern Ireland law breaches women’s rights by not allowing abortions in cases of sexual crime and fatal foetal abnormalities.
Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland campaigns manager, said:
“We cannot continue with the intolerable situation that treats women in Northern Ireland as second-class citizens, denying them healthcare and control over their own lives.
“For generations, politicians in Northern Ireland have failed women and failed to protect their rights. It is time for the Supreme Court to step in and do what our government has failed to do – protect the long-neglected human rights of women and girls in a part of the UK.
“The judges of the Supreme Court have a unique chance to put right centuries of human rights abuse. We urge them to take it. The time for change is now.”
Amnesty International Ireland Release
Overwhelming vote for complete constitutional and legal reform an important vindication of women’s and girls’ human rights
Amnesty International today applauded the Citizens’ Assembly’s resounding vote against retaining the Eighth Amendment to Ireland’s Constitution, and its vote to give the Oireachtas unrestricted power to legislate for abortion. It described the Assembly’s two-thirds majority vote for access to abortion on request at least in early pregnancy, and even greater majority votes for later gestational limits in specific circumstances, an important vindication of women’s and girls’ human rights.
DUBLIN, 3 March 2017 - Amnesty International has called on the Irish government to ensure that the Commission of Investigation into ‘Mother and Baby Homes’ fully investigates alleged human rights abuses, following the discovery of ‘significant’ quantities of human remains in Tuam, Co. Galway. The organisation had broadly welcomed the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into allegations of serious human rights abuses at ‘Mother and Baby’ homes around Ireland, though it cautioned that the Commission needed to conduct an effective and comprehensive investigation that is fully compliant with Ireland’s human rights obligations.
The UN Human Rights Committee’s ground-breaking decision that Ireland’s law prohibiting and criminalizing abortion violated the human rights of a woman who had a diagnosis of fatal foetal impairment will advance women’s rights in Ireland and beyond, said Amnesty International today.
The UN Committee’s ruling today said Ireland’s laws prohibiting abortion violated the rights of Amanda Mellet, a dual citizen of Ireland and the USA, as it denied her an abortion despite her receiving a diagnosis of fatal foetal anomaly in 2011. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee in November 2013 on Ms Mellet’s behalf.
It is the first time that an international human rights body has found a state in violation of its human right obligations for criminalizing and prohibiting abortion.
Today, people all over the world are marking St Patrick’s Day and honouring what it means to be Irish. The Eiffel Tower is glowing green in France and in the USA, President Obama is hosting the Irish Prime Minister at the White House’s annual celebration.