Hughie Daly, aged 11, who uses the services of the Rehab Group in Tullamore, helps to launch a campaign calling on the Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Martin Grant, of the Rehab Group, writes:
Ireland first signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a decade ago, in March 2007, but have as yet not made it legally binding by failing to ratify it.
Ireland is the only country in Europe not to ratify this vital international agreement, which would afford people with disabilities the same basic human rights as everyone else.
Ireland is also currently on a par with North Korea, Egypt and Ethiopia in not ratifying the CRPD.
Failure to ratify is preventing people from enjoying the everyday freedoms that people without disabilities take for granted, such as the right to choose where to live, the right to appropriate supports to achieve an education and employment, the right to engage in a sexual relationship.
This means one in seven of us are continuing to live with discrimination.
A petition calling for the CRPD to be ratified can be signed here
In the Dáil on January 17, 2016, People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny raised the matter with the Taoiseach.
They had the following exchange:
Gino Kenny: “When will this country ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? I have raised this many times with the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Finian McGrath. It is like waiting for Godot at this stage. People with disabilities and other members of the public are awaiting a decision by this Government. The convention has already been ratified by 156 countries and Ireland must ratify it without further delay. A protest will be held outside the Dáil on Thursday at 12 noon by people with disabilities. People are awaiting a decision and they want it now.”
Enda Kenny: “I thank Deputy Gino Kenny for his good wishes. The relevant Bill was published before Christmas. It is now awaiting Second Stage and will move through the various Stages. The Minister of State, Deputy Finian McGrath, along with many others, has done a lot of work on it. I hope it moves through…”
Gino Kenny: “Is there a specific date?”
Enda Kenny: “I do not know. It will be a matter for the Business Committee to decide when it comes in here in terms of the ordering of business. Obviously, we must follow through with a number of Bills before we can actually ratify the convention but it has moved into a much better place now.”
Gino Kenny: “That is a very poor response.”
Enda Kenny: “I will ask the Minister of State to contact the Deputy directly.”
Transcript via Oireachtas.ie