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Make equality the policy and ratify the UN Convention on Rights for People with Disabilities – Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD

30 March, 2017 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Today, Thursday 30th March 2017, marks the 10th year since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was signed by the Irish Government.

At the time, the signing of this convention was heralded as a means to significantly improve the lives of those with disabilities in Ireland. A decade has now passed and Ireland remains the only EU country left to ratify this very important Convention.

Speaking before a protest organised by a number of disability groups at 11am at Leinster House today, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Sinn Fein spokesperson for Disability Rights, said;

“The UNCRPD was signed on the 30th March 2007. It is to the Government’s and their predecessors’ shame that this convention has still not been ratified. Needless to say this is a source of great hurt and frustration for those living with a disability, their families, their carers, and I believe, Irish society as a whole.

“While one accepts the fact that there are legislative requirements necessary to ensure obligations under the convention will be met it is still simply unacceptable that it has taken this long.

“I have raised this issue on a number of occasions with the Minister and in a recent PQ reply I was informed that the ‘precise timing of ratification now depends on how long it will take for this Bill to progress through the enactment process and on issues in relation to commencement both of Deprivation of Liberty provisions, which will be included in the Bill at Committee Stage, and of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015.’

“As a Dáil Deputy and as Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, I will continue to put pressure on the Tánaiste and Minister in this regard.

“I commend all of those Disability Organisations that have organised the protest today. However, it should be a source of great shame for the Government that these people have had to organise such an event.

“Sinn Féin calls on Government to make Equality the Policy and to ratify the UNCRPD as soon as possible” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.


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