A year after the publication of the Irish government’s Ryan Report, which exposed decades of child abuse and neglect in church-run residential institutions, Amnesty International has strongly criticized the government for failing to protect children. Amnesty’s annual report on the state of human rights worldwide lists 61 countries for torture and 48 for imprisoning people for political or religious beliefs, but in Ireland’s case the organization focused chiefly on breaches of the rights of children. The Irish practice of placing mentally disturbed children in adult institutions is “inexcusable,” said Amnesty, which also noted that between late 2002 and June 2009, more than 400 children have disappeared while in the care of the Irish Health Service Executive. The children were illegal aliens who were unaccompanied by an adult when detained by immigration services. It is feared that some have been taken by human traffickers and forced into the sex industry.
Treatment of Irish Children Challenged