Photo credit: Philip Hollis
By National Secular Society
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has criticised Ireland in its periodic review, urging the country to protect the rights of non-religious and non-Christian children and families.
Strong criticism was made of the overwhelming religious control of Ireland’s schools, and the Committee said that Ireland must improve access to non-religious schools. 97% of Irish primary schools are denominational schools.
It said Ireland must “Expeditiously undertake concrete measures to significantly increase the availability of non-denominational or multidenominational schools and to amend the existing legislative framework to eliminate discrimination in school admissions, including the Equal Status Act”.
The report concluded that “Schools continuing to practise discriminatory admissions policies on the basis of the child’s religion” and the Committee said it remained “concerned at the very small number of non-denominational schools.”
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