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Ireland's abortion laws 'fail on a human rights level'

The report also has some things to say about arms from the West.

Abortion Legislation Voting Takes Place Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS said that Ireland’s abortion laws fail on a human rights level.

In its “The State of the World’s Human Rights 2014/2015”, the human rights organisation welcomes much of what Ireland is doing, but criticises the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act, saying it “continues to fail to comply with Ireland’s human rights obligations”

Amnesty says that the law “provided insufficient guidance to medical professionals in assessing when a pregnancy posed a risk to life”.

The report welcomes the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention on civil marriage for same-sex couples, removing the offence of blasphemy, and the incorporation of economic, social and cultural rights into the constitution, as well as the ratification of the third Optional Protocol on the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Pro Life Campaign criticised the report, saying that Amnesty should call for the repeal of the law entirely.

“If Amnesty was truly dedicated to human rights, they would be calling for the repeal of Ireland’s abortion law and not seeking to introduce even more abortion in Ireland.”


Mideast Islamic State Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle down a main road at the northern city of Mosul, Iraq. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Worldwide, Amnesty says that the response to worldwide crises is “shameful”.

They called for a collective response by world leaders to the changing nature of conflict, which, is creating a swiftly deteriorating humanitarian and refugee crisis.

Their report found:

  • War crimes and other violations of the ‘laws of war’ were carried out in at least 18 countries of the 160 studied
  • Armed groups and militias committed abuses in at least 35 countries in 2014
  • The international community “failed utterly” to deal with conflicts in Syria, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Gaza, South Sudan and Iraq
  • The use of the veto by UN Security Council permanent members meant there was no timely and concerted response to many atrocities
  • Western powers continued to deliver huge shipments of arms to Iraq, Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria despite the high likelihood that these weapons would be used against civilians
  • Governments reacted to security threats with draconian anti-terror laws, unjustified mass surveillance and dangerous encroachments on freedom of expression
  • 2015 will see an escalation of the influence of brutal armed groups such as Boko Haram, IS and Al Shabaab and more of the world’s population will be forced to live under quasi-state control
  • This year will see a worsening humanitarian and refugee crisis as governments continue to block borders and the international community fails to provide assistance and protection.
  • Last year the refugee crisis globally reached levels we have not seen since World War II

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