The promotion and protection of human rights is a cornerstone of Ireland’s foreign policy. Our work to advance human rights is founded in the values set out in ‘The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World’. Ireland is committed to the universality, indivisibility and interrelatedness of all human rights, to accountability for human rights violations and abuses, and to the protection of those who are most vulnerable and marginalised. These commitments are reinforced by pledges in the recently launched policy for international development 'A Better World'.
Multilateralism is critical to the pursuit of Ireland’s policy on the promotion and protection of human rights globally. Our ability to shape the world according to our values is defined by our membership of the European Union, our participation in the United Nations, and our partnerships with like-minded countries and other actors.
My Department monitors the human rights situations in many locations throughout the world and, where warranted, action is taken bilaterally by making our concerns known to the Government in question, or through our strong and committed engagement in international fora. This includes our active participation in the Universal Periodic Review process.
Ireland regularly takes action on priority issues in collaboration with our EU partners under the umbrella of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015 - 2019. The Action Plan reaffirms the European Union's commitment to promote and protect human rights and to support democracy worldwide, an effort with which Ireland is fully aligned.
Additionally, Ireland regularly raises issues of concern at the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. This includes situations where there is a lack of recognition of human rights or where the human rights of vulnerable groups are endangered. Ireland regularly co-sponsors resolutions and makes statements in these arenas which call on the countries involved, and the international community, to take action to prevent, or to respond, to systemic violations of human rights in areas that are affected by conflict or other serious challenges.