Religious Persecution

Questions (111)

John Lahart

Question:

111. Deputy John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the persecution of Christians in over 60 countries often happening alongside the persecution of other religious minorities; the stance Ireland has taken with regard to these acts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51684/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland is committed to promoting freedom of thought, conscience and religion as well as the rights of persons belonging to minorities. In this regard, Ireland played a key role in the adoption by the European Union of guidelines on freedom of religion or belief during our Presidency in 2013.

Ireland regularly condemns any violent attacks faced by Christians, irrespective of where they occur, or who the victims are. We strive to protect and promote human rights through our work at the EU, the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.

Addressing the high level segment of the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in February 2018, my colleague Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciaran Cannon highlighted threats to freedom of religion and belief and minority religious communities worldwide, including those of Christian, Muslim and Baha’i faiths.

At the same session of the Council, Ireland participated in the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, welcoming the work he has undertaken to date and assuring him of Ireland’s continuing support for his mandate.

Ireland also uses the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a mechanism of the Human Rights Council, to remind countries under review of their obligation to advance fundamental freedoms, including the right to freedom of religion or belief, under international human rights law.

Religious Persecution

Questions (112)

John Lahart

Question:

112. Deputy John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to an organisation (details supplied) that encourages action in countries that persecute Christians and other religious minorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51685/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am aware of the organisation to which the Deputy refers. In February 2018, it sent a report to my Department entitled “Official India: On the Side of the Militants”. Officials from my Department have met with representatives of the organisation to discuss the report.

Under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Freedom of religious expression is a cornerstone of any functioning democracy and those rights must be guaranteed. Acts of violence and discrimination based on religion or belief, committed in the name of religion or national security, whether by individuals, by groups or by states, must be challenged.

The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Ireland’s foreign policy. Ireland works closely with human rights defenders to protect them and the work they do and to promote the value of civil society space.

I very strongly condemn any violent attacks faced by Christians wherever they may be and all forms of persecution on the basis of religion and belief, irrespective of where it occurs or who the victims are.

Religious Persecution

Questions (113)

John Lahart

Question:

113. Deputy John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the tightened controls on religion that are being imposed in China as part of a population control measure; if he has spoken with his Chinese counterpart with regard to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51686/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Irish Government has been closely following reports regarding restrictions on freedom of religion or belief and expression, as well as the rights of persons belonging to ethnic minorities in China.

The protection and promotion of universal human rights is one of the key values for Ireland and we take these reports very seriously and raise our concerns in an appropriate manner with our Chinese counterparts, in bilateral and multilateral contexts, and as an EU Member State.

The subject of human rights were raised and discussed during political consultations held with China on 1 and 2 November last, with particular focus on our concerns regarding freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief.

Ireland also participated in China’s recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place on 6 Nov. The UPR is the mechanism through which the United Nations Human Rights Council examines and addresses the human rights performance of its member states. In its input, Ireland called for China to respect freedom of religion and belief, with particular regard to the situation in Xinjiang, and called for China to grant access to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to all regions of the country, again with particular regard to the situation in Xinjiang.

The EU has also raised its concerns regarding freedom of religion and belief on several occasions at bilateral and multilateral levels. During the 36th round of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, held in Beijing on 9-10 July 2018, the restrictions on Christians, Uighurs and Tibetans were discussed, and more broadly, the promotion of freedom of religion and belief, and the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

In June and September 2018, the EU delivered statements at the UN Human Rights Council raising the Union’s concerns regarding the deterioration of the human rights situation in China and calling for China to respect freedom of religion or belief and expression, as well as the rights of persons belonging to ethnic minorities.

The EU High Representative/ Vice-President mentioned this issue in a speech delivered at the European Parliament on 11 September 2018 and called on China to respect freedom of religion and belief in a speech to the European Parliament on 4 October 2018. The Spokesperson of the High Representative reiterated this concern in a statement on 26 October. Ireland fully supports the EU position, and actively contributes to its actions and statements.

Through our ongoing contacts with the Chinese Embassy in Dublin and through our Embassy in Beijing, Ireland will continue to raise the issue of human rights with China, along with our EU partners and other like-minded Member States.

Foreign Conflicts

Questions (114, 115, 116, 123)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

114. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans for Ireland to increase its diplomatic efforts through the EU to ensure the peace deals in South Sudan hold; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51697/18]

View answer

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

115. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps being taken to support the humanitarian efforts in South Sudan that are addressing the root causes of the conflict; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51698/18]

View answer

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

116. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to fund and support the conflict resolution and peace building efforts at community level by an organisation (details supplied) in partnership with INGOs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51699/18]

View answer

Pat Casey

Question:

123. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to ensure Ireland increases its diplomatic efforts through the EU to ensure the peace in South Sudan deal holds; his further plans to continue to support the humanitarian efforts in South Sudan that are addressing the root causes of the conflict and to fund and support the conflict resolution and peace building efforts at community level by an organisation (details supplied) in partnership with INGOs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51976/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 to 116, inclusive, and 123 together.

South Sudan continues to endure a terrible humanitarian crisis, primarily the consequence of conflict. I am deeply concerned by the continued high level of violence, and by reports of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, which perpetuate the crisis and impact negatively on its scale.

The current conflict began in 2013 and has had devastating consequences for civilians. The war, compounded by drought, has led to severe food insecurity and caused massive population displacement and suffering throughout the country, with women and girls suffering the most. It is estimated that almost 400,000 people have died, and 7 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance.

On 12 September last, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, signed a peace agreement with the opposition. While this peace agreement has the potential to mark a new departure, it is critical that South Sudan’s leaders implement it without delay. Achieving lasting peace will require sustained effort and commitment as well as a genuinely inclusive approach to building the future South Sudan.

Ireland strongly supports efforts to build peace in South Sudan. In November 2017, during his visit to Addis Ababa, the Tánaiste met representatives of IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) and the African Union to discuss the situation in South Sudan. On that visit, the Tánaiste announced funding to the IGAD High Level Revitalization Forum, the process which delivered the revised peace agreement. Ireland will continue to support IGAD’s work on monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the agreement in 2019.

Our Embassy in Addis Ababa, which is accredited to South Sudan, monitors the situation and engages with local, regional and international parties on an ongoing basis. The Irish Ambassador in Addis Ababa visits Juba frequently where she meets with key government, UN, NGO, Red Cross and diplomatic partners, including the EU Delegation. Her most recent visit took place in November.

We are committed to supporting efforts towards peace in South Sudan and have contributed to projects aimed at peace building. In 2018, this has included supporting partners’ meditation efforts and empowering civil society, in particular women’s groups, to facilitate their engagement in peace processes.

As well as our direct bilateral support, we are actively involved in the efforts of the EU to support peace in South Sudan. Two officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been seconded to the EU Delegation in South Sudan, including one as head of Mission. The EU Delegation is strongly supportive of the peace process, in particular by providing support to the implementing and monitoring bodies of the peace agreement. The Tánaiste discussed these efforts with the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, when he visited Dublin on 7 November.

While a sustained resolution to the conflict is the ultimate goal, we have a duty now to deal with immediate humanitarian needs. Since 2012, Ireland has provided €61 million in direct humanitarian assistance to South Sudan. Over €10 million in Irish funding has been provided so far this year, including to Irish NGOs to assist them in reaching the most vulnerable. Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Trócaire and World Vision, with support from Irish Aid, are working in partnership with local organisations and NGO networks to provide lifesaving supplies to meet the basic needs of those suffering from the conflict.

As well as this direct bilateral aid, Ireland has also contributed significantly to humanitarian support in South Sudan through the multilateral system. Ireland is a significant contributor to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, which has allocated $187 million to alleviate the crisis in South Sudan since 2011, as well as to the EU, which has provided more than €90 million so far this year.

With humanitarian needs likely to remain acute in 2019, Irish funding will continue to support both those in need inside South Sudan as well as South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries.

Passport Data

Questions (117)

Peter Burke

Question:

117. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of online passport renewals submitted since the launch of the service in March 2017, by county, in tabular form. [51820/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The number of online passport renewal applications received since the launch of the service in March 2017, per county, is as follows:

Passport Renewal Applications:

ANTRIM

2,767

ARMAGH

663

CARLOW

2,359

CAVAN

2,678

CLARE

4,661

CORK

20,421

DERRY

2,029

DONEGAL

6,976

DOWN

2,250

DUBLIN

66,554

FERMANAGH

250

GALWAY

10,644

KERRY

5,139

KILDARE

10,745

KILKENNY

3,693

LAOIS

2,944

LEITRIM

1,105

LIMERICK

7,658

LONGFORD

1,339

LOUTH

5,985

MAYO

5,221

MEATH

9,006

MONAGHAN

2,145

OFFALY

2,674

ROSCOMMON

2,488

SLIGO

2,680

TIPPERARY

6,001

TYRONE

1,081

WATERFORD

4,693

WESTMEATH

3,649

WEXFORD

6,210

WICKLOW

7,349

*Figures from 30 March 2017 to 30 November 2018

Passport Data

Questions (118)

Peter Burke

Question:

118. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of children who have had their passports renewed since the expansion of online passport services in November 2018, by county on tabular form. [51821/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Passport Service receives applications via a range of channels, including Embassies and Consulates abroad, the Online Passport Application Service, Passport Express service and, by appointment, at the public counter.

The total number of applications for a renewal of child’s passport received worldwide between 28 November and 5 December, the week after the launch of the online renewal service for children, was 683. These applications were from both within and outside Ireland.

The number of children that have applied online, per county, is outlined in the following table.

Applications:

ANTRIM

12

ARMAGH

1

CARLOW

12

CAVAN

3

CLARE

15

CORK

66

DERRY

2

DONEGAL

13

DOWN

9

DUBLIN

157

FERMANAGH

1

GALWAY

33

KERRY

21

KILDARE

32

KILKENNY

9

LAOIS

10

LEITRIM

1

LIMERICK

19

LONGFORD

5

LOUTH

22

MAYO

8

MEATH

24

MONAGHAN

4

OFFALY

6

ROSCOMMON

4

SLIGO

5

TIPPERARY

10

TYRONE

2

WATERFORD

11

WESTMEATH

11

WEXFORD

12

WICKLOW

19

An online platform for the renewal of adult passports was launched in March 2017 and to-date over 300,000 applications have been received through this channel. In November 2018 this facility was expanded to include children renewals as well as other adult renewal categories (for example applicants requiring a name change, an observation on their passport and those replacing a damaged passport.) As part of this expansion, a passport card is also now available for children. The passport card is valid for travel within the EU/EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland. In the interest of child protection and in order to ensure the highest level of integrity for the passport renewal process, the online renewal of a child’s passport will continue to require that a child’s identity is verified and that the consent of each of the child’s legal guardians is received before a passport is issued.

The Online Passport Application Service is fast, secure and the most convenient way to apply for a passport. It can be used by Irish citizens living anywhere in the world, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The average processing time is less than 10 working days (plus postage time).

I would urge applicants wishing to renew their passports, whether residing in Ireland or overseas, to avail of this service where possible.

Brexit Issues

Questions (119)

Peter Burke

Question:

119. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of Brexpo events that took place nationally as part of the Getting Ireland Brexit Ready campaign; and the number of attendees at each event. [51822/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in June 2017, I have overseen and co-ordinated a sustained intensification of Brexit preparedness. As part of these efforts, the Government has organised “Getting Ireland Brexit Ready” public information events around Ireland to inform and advise about Brexit preparedness, and the range of support measures and resources that the Government has put in place.

These events brought together over a dozen Agencies and their parent Departments – the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport - under one roof to inform and advise both citizens and businesses.

The Workshops also attracted significant domestic and international (in particular UK) media coverage which afforded an opportunity to highlight Ireland’s overall approach and specific concerns in relation to Brexit.

Six Getting Ireland Brexit Ready workshop events have so far taken place in Cork on 5 October, Galway on 12 October, Monaghan on 19 October, Dublin on 25 October, Limerick on 23 November, and Letterkenny on 30 November. Having participated at each event, I am pleased to confirm that all workshops attracted a strong attendance.

The Getting Ireland Brexit Ready campaign invited business throughout the country to either attend one of the six workshops, or to come online to the dfa.ie/brexit website, which has been visited over 26,000 times.

Attendance figures for each Getting Ireland Brexit Ready workshop were as follows:

Cork: 420

Galway: 220

Monaghan: 420

Dublin: 950

Limerick: 170

Letterkenny: 310

The positive impact of the roadshows is reflected in an increase in interactions with the Brexit supports offered by State agencies. For example, Enterprise Ireland has recorded a 92% increase in Brexit Scorecard completions from September to October, as well as a 62% increase in interactions on its website. Similarly, Fáilte Ireland noted a 24% increase in views to their Brexit webpages subsequent to the October events, as well as an uptrend averaging 83% in the number of interactions on their Get Brexit Ready diagnostic tool.

Other Brexit preparedness-related public information activities and events continue to be organised by State Agencies and Departments across Ireland and relevant details on these can be found at the new dedicated Brexit events page on the dfa.ie/brexit website.

Brexit Issues

Questions (120)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

120. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has formally met with his UK counterpart to discuss Brexit and its impact on east-west trade reciprocal arrangements and all other Brexit-related matters that fall within the remit of his Department; the number of times they have formally met to discuss Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51888/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The negotiations on both the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on the framework for the EU-UK future relationship, both of which we were endorsed by the European Council on 25 November, were conducted on behalf of the EU27 by the EU's Chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and the Commission's Article 50 Taskforce.

Brexit is a priority issue for this Government, and the Taoiseach, my Cabinet colleagues and I have taken every opportunity to engage with EU partners and the UK to advance Ireland’s priorities. In 2018 I have met directly with various UK ministers to discuss issues including Brexit on some twenty occasions.

The Government has already taken a number of key decisions on measures to support East – West Trade. These include staffing, ICT and infrastructure measures to implement necessary checks and controls at our ports and airports. To support businesses, the Government provided dedicated Brexit support measures in Budgets 2017, 2018 and 2019. Ireland is working closely with the EU and fellow Member States to discuss and to facilitate the use of the UK as a landbridge post Brexit.

Brexit Issues

Questions (121)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

121. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of his contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit; if plans for a no-deal Brexit have been finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51905/18]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Any Brexit scenario will mean considerable change and impact for Ireland and extensive and detailed Brexit preparedness and contingency work is being taken forward, co-ordinated by officials in my Department, working closely with the Department of the Taoiseach, across all Government Departments and Agencies.

Our focus continues to be on ensuring an orderly UK withdrawal through ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement endorsed by the European Council on 25 November and agreed with the British Government.

However, it is only prudent for the Government to prepare for all scenarios. Departments continue to plan and prepare for both for the ‘central case’ scenario and a disorderly Brexit scenario and updated Departmental Action Plans have evolved and developed based on the changing situation. It is not possible to eliminate all risk but the Government is working at home and at EU level to mitigate damage to the greatest extent possible. We discussed next steps in this regard at Cabinet today.

The underlying strength and resilience of our economy is critical in ensuring that Ireland is in the best possible position to respond to the challenges that Brexit will bring and this has been a key factor in developing successive budgets including in Budget 2019.

The Government has already taken a number of key decisions on measures to be put in place for the necessary checks and controls for trade on an East-West basis. The recruitment of an additional 1,000 staff for customs and SPS controls, in addition to ICT and infrastructure measures at our ports and airports has been sanctioned and implementation is underway. Various contingency measures, such as the rapid recruitment and redeployment of staff, and the use of temporary facilities, are under active planning for a disorderly Brexit scenario.

Given that in a number of key areas for Ireland, the appropriate response and mitigation will be at the EU level, we are continuing to engage actively with the Commission on areas of priority for Ireland, including through a series of expert level meetings with the Commission and the EU27 on key issues on a weekly basis until mid-January.

The EU Commission acknowledged the particular impact of Brexit on Ireland and Irish business in its contingency planning communication of 13 November. This communication also outlined some of the EU’s plans for a no deal scenario, including in the areas of financial services, citizens’ rights, air transport, road transport, and customs / SPS requirements. This has further informed our own domestic planning.

Ireland is also working closely with the EU and fellow Member States to discuss and progress areas of key concern, including facilitating the use of the UK as a landbridge post Brexit.

EU Agreements

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 114.

Questions (122)

Niall Collins

Question:

122. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement, in particular with regard to the position of western Sahara; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51916/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement was concluded in 2006, and entered into force the following year. It has subsequently been renewed on two occasions. A Protocol implementing the fisheries agreement was also renewed on two occasions, and expired in July this year.

Following a legal challenge, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a judgment in Court case C-266/16 of 27 February 2018, where the Court determined that the existing fisheries agreement and protocol were not applicable to the waters adjacent to the territory of Western Sahara.

In April 2018, the Council of the European Union authorised the European Commission to begin negotiations with Morocco to amend the fisheries agreement and associated protocol in order to implement the Court’s judgment. Following those negotiations, a new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement, and a new Implementation Protocol were initialled in July 2018, and, last month, the Council of the European Union agreed to sign the Agreement and Protocol. For the proposed new agreement to enter into force and replace the current agreement, approval by the European Parliament will now be required.

Ireland has carefully assessed the final negotiated outcome, and has received assurances that it fully respects both international law and the Court of Justice of the European Union’s judgment of 27 February 2018 in Case C-266/16.

I must stress that the proposed new agreement, if adopted, would be without prejudice to the position of the EU on Western Sahara. In other words, there is nothing in the terms of the proposed agreement or its protocol which would imply EU recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty or sovereign rights over Western Sahara and the adjacent waters.

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 114.

Passport Services

Questions (124)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

124. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a person (details supplied) in County Cork can avail of a three-year passport instead of a ten year passport [51982/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The standard Irish passport issued to adults is valid for 10 years. Passports are not issued for periods of shorter duration except in cases where a passport of restricted validity is issued to facilitate emergency travel or because there are concerns regarding an individual having multiple lost or stolen passports. Given that the production cost of a passport is the same, irrespective of validity, and given that any shortfall in revenue or additional costs would have to be met by the taxpayer, there are no plans to offer the option of a passport with a shorter period of validity at a reduced cost.

Parking Provision

Questions (125)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

125. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of car parking spaces provided for staff working within Dublin, Limerick and Cork city and to agencies therein. [52010/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Any properties, including car park space, occupied by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the state, are provided by the Office of Public Works.

At present in properties where parking spaces form part of the demised, 98 are allocated to the Department in Dublin city and 105 in Limerick. The spaces in Limerick are shared with another Department. The Department also provides two spaces for the Passport office in Cork.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (126, 127, 128)

John Lahart

Question:

126. Deputy John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of women and men, respectively, employed in his Department and the agencies under the remit of his Department, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52056/18]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

127. Deputy John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the various grades in which males and females are employed in his Department and the agencies under the remit of his Department, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52073/18]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

128. Deputy John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the ratio of males to females employed in his Department; the agencies under the remit of his Department, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52090/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 126 to 128, inclusive, together.

On 30 November, the total number of permanent full-time equivalent staff in civil service grades in my Department was 1364.7, comprised of 760.4 females and 604.3 males. The grades of these officers and the proportion of female and male staff in each grade as a percentage of the overall total is in tabular form below.

My Department also employs 401.8 locally engaged staff in missions abroad, and temporary staff on a seasonal basis.

My Department is committed to advancing gender equality and ensuring that women are represented fully in our teams at home and abroad. Our Missions abroad and our senior management structures at home, need to be representative of the people of Ireland and better gender balance will help us achieve one element of that ambition.

My Department has an active Gender Equality Sub-Committee of the Management Board as well as two working groups focusing on gender equality and diversity issues. The work that we are doing, through the Department’s Gender Equality Action Plan, complements the wider work on gender equality being advanced through the Civil Service Renewal Process.

There are no agencies under the aegis of my Department.

Grade

Number of Staff

Number of Female Staff

Number of Male Staff

Percentage of Female Staff

Percentage of Male Staff

Secretary General

1

0

1

0%

100%

Second Secretary General

4

1

3

25%

75%

Deputy Secretary General

1

0

1

0%

100%

Assistant Secretary

23

7

16

30%

70%

Counsellor

84

31

53

37%

63%

Principal Officer

20

5

15

25%

75%

Principal Development Specialist

3.9

1.9

2

49%

51%

Senior Development Specialist

10

4

6

40%

60%

Assistant Legal Adviser

7

4

3

57%

43%

First Secretary

140.5

68

72.5

48%

52%

Assistant Principal

78.6

37.6

41

48%

52%

Professional Accountant

5.8

1.8

4

31%

69%

Development Specialist

34.6

21.6

13

62%

38%

Architect

3

2

1

67%

33%

Third Secretary

130

73

57

56%

44%

Administrative Officer

5

2

3

40%

60%

Higher Executive Officer

96.7

54.9

41.8

57%

43%

Systems Analyst HEO

4

2

2

50%

50%

Executive Officer

169.2

98.7

70.5

58%

42%

Executive Officer Trainee Systems Analyst

1

1

0

100%

0%

Clerical Officer

486.4

327.9

158.5

67%

33%

Civilian Driver

4

0

4

0%

100%

Cleaners

12

12

0

100%

0%

Services Officer

29

0

29

0%

100%

Services Attendant

1

0

1

0%

100%

Night Watchman

3

0

3

0%

100%

Political Appointees

7

4

3

57%

43%

Total

1364.7

760.4

604.3

56%

44%

Human Rights Cases

Questions (129)

Pat Casey

Question:

129. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised human rights abuses in Turkey such as the case of a person (details supplied) imprisoned without due process at EU level and directly with the Turkish embassy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52189/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Irish Government, together with the European Union, continues to view developments in Turkey with regard to freedom of media, human rights, rule of law and democracy, as well as the high volume of arrests and detentions of individuals such as those mentioned in the Deputy’s Question, with grave concern.

The Conclusions on Enlargement adopted on 26 June last at the General Affairs Council stated that Turkey has been moving away from the EU and that accession negotiations have, therefore, come to a standstill. Concerns were expressed, including by Ireland, regarding backsliding on the rule of law and fundamental rights, and regarding measures targeting journalists, academics, members of political parties, parliamentarians, human rights defenders, social media users, and others exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms. Both the EU and the Government have repeatedly called on Turkey to address any failings in this area.

In March this year, EU leaders met with President Erdoan and reiterated the importance of upholding the highest standards of democracy, while expressing concern that some of the methods used to restore order following the failed coup in 2016 had undermined fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey.

Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have frequent contact with officials in the Turkish Embassy, and have raised issues relating to the human rights situation in Turkey, and the large-scale arrests and detentions of individuals in the country, on a number of occasions throughout the year.

In August this year, I issued a statement welcoming the decision taken by the Turkish courts to release Mr. Taner Kýlýç, the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey. I expressed my concerns relating to this arrest and to the continued detention of other human-rights defenders, journalists and political activists since the attempted coup in July 2016. In the same statement, I called on the Turkish authorities to ensure that full due process is respected in the judicial system and that each detainee is granted a fair trial.

Together with our European partners, we will continue to monitor government actions that undermine freedom of expression, democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights in Turkey, and to consider the implications of these actions for relations with Turkey.