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Human Rights Section

Human Rights Section


The Crime Legal - Human Rights Section was established in October 2018 in order to implement a renewed Constitutional/Human Rights approach to policing service provision. An Garda Síochána’s Mission & Strategy Statement 2019 – 2021 provides that “An Garda Síochána will build a Human Rights infrastructure to enhance its understanding, knowledge, training, policy and service delivery capacity.”

Renewed focus on Constitutional/Human Rights

The impetus for this renewed approach to Human Rights within An Garda Síochána derives from two important developments:

1. Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.

Section 42(1) requires public bodies, in the performance of their functions, to have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality and protect human rights of staff and people availing of their services. Section 42(2) requires public bodies to assess, address and report on progress in relation to equality and human rights in their strategic plan and annual reports in a manner that is accessible to the public.

2. The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland Report 2018

The Commission identified that the protection of human rights is fundamental to the purpose and mission of policing, saying that “human rights must, therefore, be embedded in the thinking, ethos and operations of the Garda personnel at all levels.”  An Garda Síochána responded to the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing Ireland by stating that ‘human rights [will be] the foundation upon which we will deliver [our] policing services’ in the Organisation’s Mission and Strategy Statement 2019-2021.

What is the Function of the Human Rights Section?

An Garda Síochána’s Human Rights Strategy 2020-2022 sets out how An Garda Síochána plans to achieve key Human Rights goals during the lifetime of the Strategy document. The Human Rights Section is a key stakeholder in the Organisation completing its ambitious Human Rights goals. The Human Rights Strategy comprises 7 action plans under the following headings:

1. Training;
2. Embedding;
3. Keeping abreast of Human Rights Developments;
4. Monitoring Compliance;
5. External Recommendations;
6. Verifying Implementation of this Strategy &
7. Prepare for the next Strategy.

Each of the above action plans contain a number of actions which must be achieved within the time period of this Human Rights Strategy. The completion of these actions is a central focus for the Human Rights Section, with much of the work completed.

Useful DocumentsInstruments Useful Sites


We Work With  


	Connecting for life  Human Rights Section Pilot Safe-Talk Training in collaboration with the National Office for Suicide Prevention 

An Garda Síochána is a key stakeholder in Connecting for Life the Irish Government’s multiagency response to suicide in Ireland.

Mental Health Ireland   Mental Health Ireland

In 2020, Mental Health Ireland and the Garda Human Rights Section co-produced and facilitated a workshop for managers within An Garda Síochána to provide them with an increased knowledge and understanding of supporting people in mental health distress.

ASIAM  ASIAM Advice for engaging with people with Autism

The Garda Human Rights Section is excited to have the opportunity to work with an organisation as important to so many people in Ireland as ASIAM. Some important tips and information for on this area can be found at www.AsIAM.ie.

Strategic Human Rights  The Strategic Human Rights Advisory Committee (SHRAC)

The SHRAC meets quarterly and advises the Garda Commissioner on matters concerning Human Rights compliance.

Small Crest  Human Rights, Ethics and Culture Management Board

The Human Rights Ethics and Culture Management Board are responsible for overseeing the embedding of human rights within the Organisation.


The information is correct as of date of publication. This is not intended to, nor does it represent legal advice to be relied upon in respect of the subject matter contained herein and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.