The UN committee on the Rights of the Child has said the Catholic Church has not yet taken measures to prevent a repeat of cases of forced labour such as Ireland's Magdalene laundries scandal.
A separate official report, published in February last year, found the Irish state was responsible for sending many women and girls to the now-notorious laundries, where they were subjected to a harsh regime of intimidation, prayer and unpaid work.
Today's UN report has called for the Vatican to begin an internal investigation of the laundries and similar institutions to lead to appropriate prosecutions. It has demanded that "full compensation be paid to the victims and their families" upon its completion.
The Vatican is expected to issue a statement on the damning UN report later today.
The Irish prime minister broke into tears as he made an historic and emotionally-charged state apology to survivors of the Magdalene laundries today.
Enda Kenny received a standing ovation in parliament after he described the Catholic-run workhouses as the "nation's shame" and accepted the state's direct involvement.
Mr Kenny said:
"I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of the state, the Government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry".