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“Today promises to be the dawn of a new era
– an era in which disabled people will no longer have to endure the discriminatory practices and attitudes that have been permitted to prevail for all too long. This Convention is a remarkable and forward-looking document,”

Kofi Annan


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD)

The failure of the Government to ratify the UN CRPD - despite repeated assurances from the relevant Departments and An Taoiseach that it would be ratified by end of 2016 - is a source of great frustration and anger for me and persons living with a disability and their families in Ireland.

Since my appointment I have continuously engaged on this matter, both publically and privately, with An Taoiseach and Minister McGrath. Within the Seanad I have questioned Ministers Harris, Varadkar, Bruton and Ross with regard to the legislative timetable to enable ratification. More recently I raised this matter at the Justice and Equality Joint Oireachtas Committee and on numerous occasions in the media.

This convention was adopted by the UN in 2006, eleven years ago, and was signed by the then Government in 2007.

This delay in ratification is simply not justifiable any longer. This ongoing dragging of feet is a disgrace, especially as Article 1 of the convention states that the purpose of the Convention is to ‘promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity’.

This ratification by the Government of the UN CRPD will require the publication of an Implementation Plan that is based on real costing’s and set timescales. Had the Government addressed the litany of outstanding issues in the 2017 budget statement; most of this work would be done.

Be assured that I will continue to maintain pressure at every level and opportunity to ensure that this vitally important convention, for so many people, will be ratified early in 2017.

Important Documents

A decade in waiting but no sign of ratification for UN convention

Key cultural change at stake is a preparedness to take responsibility, rather than disavow it, writes Gerard Howlin.
LAST Sunday — Mother’s Day — was one of those invented traditions which the makers of chocolates, greeting cards, and other sorts of schmaltz thrive on. It’s a good thing to be kind to your mother, but do you need a special day?

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