Commission Calls on Government to Establish Annual Dáil Statement on Progress on Ireland’s Disability Rights Obligations - IHREC - Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Commission Calls on Government to Establish Annual Dáil Statement on Progress on Ireland’s Disability Rights Obligations

Commission also seeks progress on Individual complaints mechanism for people with disabilities under Convention 

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“The Commission”) has called on the Minister for Equality and the Minister of State for Disability to commit to an annual Dáil statement on how Ireland is meeting its human rights obligations for people with disabilities.

Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney speaking today before the Oireachtas’ Disability Matters Committee set out the Commission’s concern about growing delays in implementation and reporting under the UN Convention. The Commission has written directly to Ministers O’Gorman and Rabbitte to propose that the Government makes an annual statement to the Dáil on Ireland’s progress on implementation of the CRPD, beginning this year, as a matter of transparency.

Chief Commissioner, Sinéad Gibney and Commission Member Adam Harris, who is also Vice-Chair of the Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee, have also set out the need for the State to bring forward ratification of the Convention’s ‘Optional Protocol’. This would establish a mechanism for people with disabilities to make individual complaints directly to the UN. Ireland is one of only three EU Member States not to have either signed or ratified the Optional Protocol, along with Poland and the Netherlands.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s independent National Human Rights Institution and National Equality Body, and is the designated independent monitor of Ireland’s obligations under the CRPD.

Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission said:

“The Commission is concerned about delays around Ireland’s progress in CRPD implementation and accountability. The importance of visible progress to people with disabilities and their organisations, who campaigned and worked to see this Convention ratified, cannot be overstated.

“The making of an annual statement to the Dáil on Ireland’s progress in implementing the UNCRPD would be a hugely positive signal, and a demonstrable commitment to meeting Ireland’s international obligations to people with disabilities.

“Considering Ireland’s delays in reporting to the UN and an anticipated lengthy UN examination delay once the State report is submitted, the Commission suggests that the State’s plan to ratify the Optional Protocol after the first reporting cycle needs to be reconsidered and brought forward.”

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Karen Joynt 087 448 2963 / Karen.Joynt@ihrec.ie

Notes to editor:

The full text of the opening statement by Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney, Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to the Oireachtas Disability Matters Committee is available at the following link: https://www.ihrec.ie/app/uploads/2021/06/Opening-Statement-Chief-Commissioner-IHREC-Disability-Matters-Committee-17-June-2021.pdf

The Irish Government signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007. In March 2018 they ratified the Convention as the last EU Member State to do so.

The State has not yet either signed or ratified the Optional Protocol. This is an individual complaints mechanism and sets out a process for disabled people to make individual complaints to the UN.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Disability Matters proceedings take place in the Committee Room 2, Leinster House beginning at 12.30pm on Thursday, 17th June 2021.

The proceedings are public and live-streamed at: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/cr2-live/

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.

 

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