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The UN Committee Against Torture has called on the Irish Government to conduct a thorough investigation into the Magdelene Laundries. 

It has criticised the government for not looking into the numerous allegations of abuse within mother and baby homes.

'The committee is concerned at reports that the State party has not undertaken sufficient efforts to uncover all available evidence of abuses held by private institutions, nor taken adequate steps to ensure that victims are able to access information that could support their claims,' reads the advice, according to The Journal.

They also advised that every allegation of abuse at all mother and baby homes be investigated, rather than just a few of them. 

The government was criticised for its failure to compensate victims and prosecute abusers. 

'In order for the State to avoid criticism that they are being uncooperative or maybe trying to hide something, they should just be up-front and find that information, obtain that information and release that information,' said Solicitor Fiona Fox.

'This issue won't go away.'

The UN originally recommended an investigation six years ago.



The United Nations Human Rights Committee has ruled against Irish abortion laws for the second time in just over a year.

The committee ruled that the treatment of a woman who was denied an abortion in 2010 was cruel, inhuman and degrading.

After being denied a termination in Ireland, Siobhan Whelan travelled to the UK after learning of a fatal foetal abnormality.

Speaking about the ruling, Leah Hocter from the European Centre for Reproductive Rights explained:

"It is obliged, under international law, to guarantee non repetition of the violations she endured," she said.

"And what this means is that Ireland must take effective measures to ensure that other women do not have to face similar violations in the future.

"As a result, the committee has outlined that Ireland is obliged to undertake law reform, to change its laws on abortion so as to legalise abortion in Ireland."

This ruling follows a similar case in June 2016 when another Irish woman's human rights were violated after she was refused a termination on Irish soil.

Amanda Mellet was 21-weeks pregnant when she learned that her child would not survive outside the womb due to a condition known as Edwards' syndrome.

After being told this devastating news, Amanda was given two options – carry to full term, or seek an abortion abroad.

Amanda spent €3,000 on a termination in Liverpool, and stayed for just 12 hours as she could not afford to spend the night.

She was later compensated €30,000 following a ruling by the United Nations Human Rights Committee. 

With Ireland's strict abortion laws in desperate need of reform, groups like Amnesty International have welcomed the UN's ruling, saying:

“While we welcome this ruling, it is outrageous that women have to go to the UN to have their human rights respected.”

A thought surely echoed by women across the country today.  


December 10 marked International Human Rights Day, and people took the opportunity to voice their opinions about abortion on social media.

Taking to Twitter, Repeal the 8th supporters donned their Repeal Project  jumpers in honour of the day, and debate roared on the social media site about one of Ireland's most controversial topics

While it's definitely a touchy subject on Irish shores, the Repeal the 8th movement has gained a lot of support since it's founding, with Repeal jumpers becoming the failsafe way to wear your political opinions on your sleeve (literally). 

Pro-choice supporters took the opportunity to use the #HumanRightsDay hashtag to further the cause of reproductive rights, after the United Nations called Ireland's abortion ban "cruel, inhumane and degrading" back in July; this came after Irish woman Amanda Mellet filed a complaint with the UN, when she was forced to "travel" for a termination. 

Amanda complained that the State’s ban on abortion had violated her human rights under international law, and the United Nation's Human Rights Committee agreed.

Both sides were out in force on the hashtag, as pro-life advocates used anonymous accounts to voice their opinions on the matter. 

"The right to life is the biggest and most important human right abortion takes that away abortion destroys human right," said one. 


Amanda Mellet has been awarded €30,000 in compensation from the Irish Government.

The payment is a result of an earlier United Nation's Human Rights Committee ruling which stated that she had faced "cruel, inhuman treatment" due to Ireland's abortion ban.

Amanda has also been offered counselling and other support services.

The ruling, which occurred in June this year, came after Amanda filed a complaint with the UN after she was forced to "travel" for a termination. 

Minister for Health Simon Harris offered the compensation in a meeting on Tuesday evening.

The meeting took place one week before an imposed deadline set out by the UN for Ireland to respond. 

In November 2011, Amanda learned that her foetus had congenital heart defects caused by a condition known as Edwards’ syndrome and that it would die in the uterus or shortly after birth.

After being told by her doctors of the serious genetic condition, Amanda was advised to either carry to full term or seek an abortion abroad.

She spent €3,000 on a termination in Liverpool.

Amanda complained that the State’s ban on abortion had violated her human rights under international law, and the United Nation's Human Rights Committee agreed.

"When I read the report from the UNHR Committee I found the experience she went through deeply upsetting," said the Minister for Health.

"Indeed, I have subsequently met with other families who have been through the trauma of knowing their baby will not survive and made the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy abroad and I have been very moved on hearing of their experiences."



The UN recently appointed their Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.

And she’s a comic book character.

Albeit a bad-ass, take no sh*t gal with hair so wondrous you want to reach out and touch it, but a fictional character none the less.

With Emma Watson acting as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Charlize Theron as Messenger of Peace and countless other women fighting for gender equality, the mind boggles as to how the good folk at the UN suddenly came to the conclusion that they’d been barking up the wrong tree all along.

“Ah, Ala Murabit and Charlize Theron are all well and good, but they’re just too damn real. Any objections to Wonder Woman?”

In one fell swoop, the UN suggested that of the millions of women performing admirable, worthwhile tasks on a daily basis, they’ll never quite measure up to a fictional character in hot pants and headband.

And in a maddening kind of way, the idea is so absurd, so toe-curlingly offensive, so close-your-eyes-and-count-to-ten insulting, you almost – almost – have to laugh.

It’s like trying to reason with a drunk person.

“But she’s not an actual woman.”

“What? She is. Woman’s even in her name FFS.”

“She’s not a living, breathing real-life woman, lads.”

“No, but she’s so wondrous she transcends actual real-life women. And isn’t that something all you ladies should aspire to?”

In that case, how long before we kick Ban Ki-moon out of the UN Secretary-General position and replace him with He-Man?

And if the idea that the United Nations didn’t think they could find ONE worthy ambassador among millions of real-life women isn’t crushing enough, a magazine aimed at the female population has this week nominated a man for its Women of the Year award.

That’s right, ladies. As well as being a multi-millionaire with a back catalogue of number ones, Bono also has this whole 'being a woman' thing nailed down too.

Well, according to Glamour magazine's annual awards, that is.

As news broke of Bono’s nomination, many assumed it was a publicity stunt to draw attention to the other more worthy nominees who include Olympic medallist, Simone Bails, and Nobel peace prize winner Nadia Murad.

And how dispiriting, how overwhelmingly disheartening if that is, indeed, the case?

Despite there being a Nobel Prize winner and Olympic medallist to herald,  there is a suggestion that the public need a man’s name in the headline if they’re going to pay a blind bit of attention to a ceremony that honours women.

Well sure look, if the ageing male rocker doesn’t pull in enough publicity this time around, we can always give Wonder Woman the nod next year.

Or, you know, the pink Power Ranger…




We knew there was someone missing from the crowds at Guy Ritchie’s wedding this week.

While her husband Brad Pitt partied the night away with some famous pals, including David Beckham, Sting and Claudia Schiffer, Angelina Jolie had other matters to attend to.


…that night at Guy's I hung out with these Guys… #jaxguyjuly #InspiriTour #lucacalvani @robertogirombelli

A photo posted by Luca Calvani (@lucalvani) on

The Oscar-winning actress was in Burma on a four-day trip with Aung San Suu Kyi.

She joined the country’s opposition leader and democracy campaigner to visit workers in the country who are forced to be employed in horrific conditions.

Angelina met factory workers, most of whom are women, at an industrial zone on the outskirts of Burma’s largest city. The pair witnessed first-hand how the women work and live and also toured inside the factory.

Earlier this week Angelina, who is a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, travelled to Kachin state. This has become home to tens of thousands of displaced people since the ceasefire between Burma’s government and rebel fighters broke down in 2011.

This is her first visit to the country which has only recently been released from military rule.

While Angelina was busy in South-East Asia, husband Brad enjoyed a night with friends at the star-studded bash to celebrate Guy and Jacqui’s wedding.


A photo posted by Luca Calvani (@lucalvani) on

Earlier this week a source had told The Mirror: “The guest list is jaw-dropping. It’s like the Oscars. If even half of them come, it will be the party of the year.”

It certainly looked it! We nearly lost track of all the celebs spotted at the festival-themed nuptials. 



Leonardo DiCaprio has finally joined Instagram so the world can breathe a sigh of relief – surely soon we will be treated to shots of yachts, cocktails and bottles of $10,000 champagne, right?

Well, not so fast…

The actor announced his new Instagram account through Twitter, writing: “This seems like the perfect setting to join Instagram and share this view from the UN General…”

Leo only has two photos so far, one of him and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and another of him giving a speech at the UN Climate Summit 2014 where he is a newly appointed messenger of peace. 

We think this might beat those yachts, Leo – very impressive!

Leo is well-know for his environmental work and even describes himself as "Actor and Environmentalist" on his Instagram page. 

Check out his amazing speech!

It will be interesting to have a peek into the Wolf of Wall Street actor's life on his own terms. 



Emma Watson is definitely one of the most inspirational actresses out there – and this proves it!

The actress has been appointed as a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and has spoken of her delight at the news: “Being asked to serve as [an] UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling.”

Emma also spoke of the importance of the appointment, saying it is one she is taking very seriously: “The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly.”

The Harry Potter star, who recently graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature, also took to her Twitter account to announce the exciting news.

Well done, Emma, we’re sure you are going to give it your all and make a big difference in this world!






Selena Gomez is currently in Nepal as a UN ambassador, but it seems that isn’t the only reason for the trip.

While in Nepal, Selena was interviewed by Bisnu Sharma, a well-known journalist in the country.

Sharma then took to his Twitter account and quoted Selena’s words during the interview, which seem to reveal why she needed a break from the US, “I am in Nepal for to escape American media. I wanted to mental peace.”

Fans of Selena will have noticed that there seems to be a hint of sadness in her Instagram posts of late.

She recently uploaded a bikini selfie along with the words: “Taking my power back.”

Hopefully Selena can find the peace she needs in Nepal, it can’t be easy dealing with all of that boyfriend drama on such a public scale!