‘Optional Protocol’ required to give effect to UNCRPD – Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
Today April 19th marks the day when the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities comes into force in Ireland following ratification on March 7th last.
Following a briefing in the Dáil on the roll-out of the hope and promise of the UNCRPD, including a call for the immediate ratification of the ‘Optional Protocol’ that will provide the mechanism for people with disabilities and advocacy groups to achieve enforceability, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability Rights, Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said;
“Today should have been another historic day for all those persons in Ireland living with disabilities and their families
“Sadly, it falls far short of what it could have been and should have been.
“Now is the time for delivery. For far too long, our disability community was left on the margins and denied their basic human rights.
"The UNCRPD can put an end to that. It does affirm people’s rights. But these rights now need to be delivered.
“The ‘Optional Protocol’ provides the means for ensuring the rights affirmed in the UNCRPD are now provided.
"The failure of the Government to ratify this protocol in tandem with the UNCRPD as promised was a mistake and now needs to be rectified.
“The disability community needs an oversight mechanism in order to hold the Irish State to account when it fails in its duty to deliver the rights contained in the UNCRPD.
“I am calling on the Irish Government to reverse its decision and to now proceed to ratify the ‘Optional Protocol’."