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Amnesty’s stark reminder to British holiday makers

Ireland is one of the holiday destinations that received a human rights alert for potential visitors.
Ireland is one of the holiday destinations that received a human rights alert for potential visitors.

AMNESTY International UK has issued a holiday destination list with a difference for British holiday makers.

Ireland has come fourth in the top 10 list of countries visited by British tourists. But the list also draws attention to the key human rights issues affecting the most popular countries for holidaymakers from Britain.

In 2012, Ireland welcomed 2,827,000 British visitors.

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According to Amnesty International a key human rights concern in Ireland is the criminalisation of abortion. The organisation cited the recent case of 32-year-old Savita Halappanavar, who died after being refused an abortion despite being in a life-threatening medical condition.

Other concerns were Irish prisons, which have been criticised for their “chronic overcrowding”, being “vermin-infested” and for detaining people with severe mental health issues.

Ireland was also criticised for “significant delays” in processing asylum applications.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: “Holidays are a time to relax and we’re not expecting people to anxiously research the human rights situation of their holiday destinations.

“But behind the sparkling seas, the luxurious hotels and picturesque landscapes, there’s a darker reality of tragedy and human rights abuse.”

Spain topped the list with 11,110,000 British visitors in 2012.

France came second, and the US beat Ireland to third place with over three million British visitors last year.

The human rights concerns in the US include capital punishment and the notorious detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

Other counties on the list were Italy, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Greece and Belguim. Meanwhile, Britain ranked as the world’s eighth-most popular destination, with 29.3 million visitors in 2012.

Kate Allen added: “This is a good time to engage with the issues that affect the locals long after the tourists have gone home.”

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