Written Answers. - International Covenants.

32.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if there are any plans for Ireland to ratify (1) the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and (2) the International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The Government are committed to the early ratification of the UN Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The domestic legislation required to enable ratification is at present before the Dáil.

The Child Care Bill, 1988, which was initiated by the Minister for Health, providesinter alia for the abolition of the death penalty in respect of crimes committed by persons under the age of 18. It has now reached the Committee Stage and should become law before the end of this session. Legislation dealing with the advocacy of hatred on grounds of race, religion or nationality, introduced by the Minister for Justice, has passed the Committee Stage and should also become law shortly. On the enactment of this legislation, the Government will arrange for the immediate ratification of the two covenants.