• Senator John Dolan

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Thursday 19th April 2018 - Ireland officially commences implementation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability (UN CRPD)

Senator John Dolan said, “Today, Thursday 19th April, Ireland commences the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability (UN CRPD). This is a good day for the 643,000 member disability community in Ireland – a day of hope and promise”

 “Put simply, Ireland must now honour it’s 2007 commitment to the UN that it would ratify and take on board the various commitments enshrined in this vitally important convention”

Dolan said, “The role of our Taoiseach in leading the drive to ensure a successful implementation of the treaty is significant. I have contacted the Taoiseach in recent days highlighting the key issues, which must be addressed to ensure successful implementation. We must remove the bluster and the promises from this equation – the disabled citizens in our society need and deserve action”

“The aim of this Convention is to ensure that the human rights of citizens with disabilities, rights shared by all people, are fully and routinely present in their everyday lives. These include obvious areas such as employment, education, free and easy movement, public transport, housing, health and social services and income supports. There are other important issues for people with disabilities such as freedom of choice, respecting will and preference, bodily autonomy and dignity, which must also be addressed”

“And let’s be clear, the disabled people of Ireland and their families will only experience the benefits if the implementation phase is fully and effectively implemented. This is now about getting the result we deserve and this is the responsibility of government”

Dolan concluded, “Each year there must be tangible improvements across three specific areas; firstly resources must be made available expediently to drive the necessary changes; secondly the use of resources already in the system must be reviewed to ensure that people with disabilities are getting fair access and, needless to say; new resources will be required in each annual budget”

The implementation of this convention, which has significant support around the world, is a major component of our social policy development - and it will necessitate some reform as to how government departments operate individually and collectively. Our National Disability Inclusion Strategy, 2017 - 2021, launched by Government last July, also needs to be reviewed urgently to ensure that it is ambitious enough, post ratification and that the "whole of government" nature of the project is efficiently and effectively led. All of these challenges can be overcome and the winners will not be just those with a disability, but all in our increasingly progressive society”

ENDS