Statement on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The passing of today’s formal Dáil motion on Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) has been met with a commitment to participation in the monitoring of the Convention by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“The Commission”).

The Commission has marked today’s Dáil motion on ratification by setting out its role in establishing a mechanism for a national independent monitoring framework for the Convention in Ireland.

Under article 33 of the Convention, an independent monitoring framework must be established to scrutinise the State’s progress in implementing the Convention’s obligations to protect, respect and uphold the human rights of persons with disabilities.

Later this year, the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill is expected to provide, in statute, for the Commission’s formal monitoring function and the establishment of an advisory committee, including people with disabilities.

While it doesn’t confer any new rights, the process in formulating the UNCRPD was unique amongst human rights conventions because of the inclusion of disabled people’s organisations in the negotiations and drawing up of the Convention.

Ireland’s first formal reporting as a State Party under the Convention will take place two years after its entry into force.

The Commission is mandated to promote an understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights and equality in the State. Both roles in relation to the UN Convention will be complementary to the role of other bodies currently involved in the delivery of services or regulation of the sector.

Ahead of today’s ratification motion the Commission has been active over several years, in setting out specific guidance, based on international practice, of how best to promote, protect and monitor’ the implementation of the UNCRPD. This included the publication of commissioned research with NUI Galway in 2016, and direct legislative advice provided to the government and Oireachtas in both 2016 and 2017.

Over the coming year with the Convention in force, the Commission will be taking forward a number of steps:

  • Developing a mechanism for State monitoring, including the establishment of a specific advisory committee.
  • Developing public information in relation to promoting an understanding and awareness of the Convention.

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“The UN Convention ratification represents a step-change in approach to one based on independence, dignity and self-advocacy for persons with disabilities.

“The Convention is, in its own way remarkably simple. It does not reinvent the wheel. It does not draw up or confer any new human rights. What it does is mark out in clear, unambiguous terms that the rights of persons with disabilities are human rights. It makes plain that our body of international human rights norms apply equally to persons with disabilities.”

ENDS/

For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

bdawson@ihrec.ie

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Notes to editor:

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

On ratification Ireland will become the 176th party to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention was first agreed in December 2006 and entered into force in May 2008. Ireland first signed the Convention in 2007. The Convention is based on the principle that persons with disabilities must be equal partners, primary stakeholders and full participants in State decisions affecting their lives. Article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires the establishment of a national independent monitoring framework in Ireland to promote, protect and monitor’ the implementation of the Convention.

The 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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