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Disability Action delegation in European Parliament

10 September, 2008


Disability Action delegation in European Parliament


A Disability Action delegation from the North of Ireland held discussions in the European Parliament today on new anti-discrimination legislation proposals that could improve the lives of people with disabilities throughout Europe.
The 27 person delegation from Disability Action NI was hosted in the European Parliament in Brussels by Sinn Féin MEP, Bairbre de Brún. Delegation members from throughout the North held a series of meetings with MEPs and key campaigners involved in lobbying at European level.
Speaking from the European Parliament, Ms de Brún said:
'The visit is very timely as the European Parliament will soon debate new proposals for anti-discrimination legislation. This legislation could be the most important ever for people with disabilities and those visiting the European Parliament today will be in a stronger position to make their voice heard.'

The delegation is comprised of people with disabilities who are training to be human rights advocates and their support workers. They met with a number of MEPs and staff members who are involved in the European Parliament's Intergroup on Disability as well as leading figures from the European Disability Forum.

As well as taking the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the workings of the EU institutions, the delegation are lobbying on issues in relation to disability rights, equality legislation and social inclusion.

Ms de Brún continued:

'I am very pleased to be hosting the Disability Action delegation in the European Parliament. Disability rights is a major issue facing many of my constituents, with the North of Ireland having a very high rate of disability compared to other regions.

'Most equality legislation finds its origins in the EU institutions with frameworks set there before being refined and implemented at national and regional level. This week's delegation will provide an opportunity for those training as human rights advocates to make the case for enhanced legislation and protections right at the heart of where much of our social legislation begins.' ENDS


Notes to Editor:

Among those the delegation met were MEPs Bairbre de Brún, Kathy Sinnott, Mary Lou McDonald and Marian Harkin.

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