What is the protest about?
We are calling on Ireland to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
Why are we protesting?
The UNCRPD is an agreement on the rights of people with disabilities.
Ireland signed the UNCRPD 10 years ago but has not ratified it.
Location: The gates of Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin.
Date: March 30th 2017 between 11am – 2pm
Your support on the day would be greatly appreciated. If you can’t make it on the day, get involved on social media using the hashtags, #makeequalitythepolicy and #ratifycrpd.
Why does the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) matter?
The UNCRPD is an international agreement on the rights of persons with disabilities. It does not create new rights but instead requires states to ensure, protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
Why do people with disability need a specific treaty?
All other human rights agreements apply to people with disabilities and the UNCRPD does not create new rights.
It does however require that states take extra measures to create an enabling environment and to remove the barriers that society may puts in the way of people with disabilities accessing their rights.
What does the convention say?
The UNCRPD has guiding principles which include dignity, autonomy, freedom to choose, non-discrimination, respect for diversity, equality and accessibility.
There are specific rights laid out and they include;
- Equality before the law without discrimination
- Right to life, liberty and security of the person
- Equal recognition before the law and legal capacity
- Freedom from torture
- Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
- Right to respect physical and mental integrity
- Freedom of movement and nationality
- Right to live in the community
- Freedom of expression and opinion
- Respect for privacy
- Respect for home and the family
- Right to education
- Right to health
- Right to work
- Right to an adequate standard of living
- Right to participate in political and public life
- Right to participate in cultural life
Why hasn’t Ireland ratified the UNCRPD?
Ireland signed the convention on March 30th 2007. On announcing our intention to sign the Convention, then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said: “This Convention represents a blueprint for a significant improvement in the lives of these people (people with disabilities).”
On March 30th 2017, a decade will have passed without ratification.
Ireland has repeatedly blamed delays to ratification on the necessity to bring domestic law in line with the obligations contained in the UNCRPD.
Minister for State Finian McGrath has recently said that “While Ireland’s not having ratified the CRPD is a recurring point of criticism by the United Nations, in addition to many domestic national governmental organisations, it should be noted that Ireland is in many respects more advanced than many other European Union member states in terms of the quality of service and the position of people with disabilities.”
It is however, one thing to claim that Ireland is ahead of other European countries and quite another to be measured and scrutinised. Ireland is the last country in the EU to have failed to ratify.
Ratification of the UNCRPD would allow Ireland to join the majority of world countries and be monitored both domestically and by the United Nations for its performance in relation to the rights of persons with disabilities.