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Government & Minister Zappone must ratify UN Convention to protect Children with Disabilities – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

14 December, 2016 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Today in the chamber Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire demanded Minister Zappone to call on her cabinet colleagues to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities as a matter of urgency. This Convention has yet to be ratified by the Government despite being signed nearly 10 years ago.

Deputy O'Laoghaire said;

“For quite some time now the debate of Ireland’s inability to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities has been highlighted. On March 30th, 2007, Ireland signed but did not ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

“Since then, the CRPD has been ratified by 156 countries. That’s coming on ten year from the signing of the Convention and still no ratification. Countries like Togo, Uganda, and Vietnam are ahead of us on this.

“The government has stated time and time again how this is a priority of theirs. I do however fear that there may not be enough pressure from other Ministers on the issue, and this has allowed for inaction to trundle along.

"Gaps in how statutory bodies deal with children with disabilities have been raised in the public domain in recent weeks, particularly on the This Week programme, where it was stated that the HSE believe TÚSLA were failing on Child Protection measures for children with disabilities. This applied particularly to Children in the care of the state.

“This was governed by a Framework governing the relationship between Túsla and the HSE regarding Children with Disabilities in care,which  the Minister has accepted that it wasn't up to scratch. I welcome that, and it is positive and that a new protocol has been agreed between Túsla and the HSE, which I welcome.

“It is my belief that the ratification of the Protocol must be continually raised, and that it would hammer home this Government’s commitment to protect those, and in this particular case children, from potentially falling victim to systemic discrimination in the future.

"Minister Zappone has said today she was ‘absolutely committed to ensuring the ratification of the UNCRPD’ by this Government", which is welcome - it needs to be done urgently.

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