The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) welcomes this week’s passing of a Dáil motion in favour of ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), but has called for real reform to follow this symbolic step.
Liam Herrick, Director of the ICCL, said ‘The government needs to show its commitment to the rights of people with disabilities in real terms, through the enactment of legislation and provision of resources in ways that meet the requirements of the Convention. Ratification of the CRPD is a symbolic step, but in reality Ireland’s treatment of people with disabilities has a long way to go’.
Ratification of the CRPD is a symbolic step, but in reality Ireland’s treatment of people with disabilities has a long way to go
Mr Herrick continued: ‘The State has continually let people with disabilities down by failing to commence important pieces of legislation that would protect and fulfil their human rights. For example, the part of the Citizens Information Act 2007 which provides for a personal advocacy service was never commenced. The part of the Disability Act 2005 that gives a statutory right to an individual assessment of need was never fully commenced. The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 still has not been commenced for the most part.’
Mr Herrick added: ‘The CRPD requires that people with disabilities are given the same respect as everyone else, in terms of the decisions they make and their entitlement to live independently and be fully included in the community. There is an urgent need for the government to enact legislation to give a statutory right to individualised support services. There is also an urgent need for a statutory right to home care for older people, who are routinely forced into nursing homes when they need care rather than being supported to live in the community.’
Lastly, Mr Herrick said: “We are also extremely disappointed to note that there has been no mention of ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Treaty, which allows people to take cases under the CRPD, and we would call for reconsideration of this position during the ratification process”.