UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Ireland (CRC 01-03-2016)

The Committee considered the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Ireland (CRC/C/IRL/3-4) at its 2064th and 2066th meetings (see CRC/C/SR.2064 and 2066), held on 14 January 2016, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 2104th meeting (see CRC/C/SR.2104), held on 29 January 2016.

Concluding observations

C. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)


27. The Committee is concerned about the structural discrimination against Traveller and Roma children and their families, including alleged impunity for publicly expressed discriminatory remarks by public representatives. The Committee takes note of the explanation by the State party regarding the retention of mechanisms and funding streams arising from the National Action Plan against Racism 2005-2008; it remains concerned, however, that no appropriate updated national action plan has been enacted. The Committee is also concerned about discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children.

28. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Strengthen its efforts to combat discrimination against and the stigmatization and social exclusion of Traveller and Roma children, as well as that based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of children;

(b) Establish an appropriately high-level, comprehensive successor to the National Action Plan against Racism 2005-2008.

E. Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)

Harmful practices

39. The Committee notes as positive the adoption of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 by the State party. It remains concerned, however, about cases of medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they are able to provide their informed consent, which often entail irreversible consequences and can cause severe physical and psychological suffering, and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases.

40. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Ensure that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to children concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support;

(b) Undertake investigation of incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex children without informed consent and adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation;

(c) Educate and train medical and psychological professionals on the range of sexual, and related biological and physical, diversity and on the consequences of unnecessary surgical and other medical interventions for intersex children.

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