“This week we marked International Day of Disabled Persons 2018. Yet the government continues to betray people with disabilities by denying them the right to bring complaints under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention.”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD today accused the government of betraying people with disabilities by its continued denial of promised rights under an important UN Convention.

Deputy Shortall said it was intolerable that, twenty years after Ireland signed the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, it has still not fully committed to deliver on it.

She said:

“This week we marked International Day of Disabled Persons 2018. Yet the government continues to betray people with disabilities by denying them the right to bring complaints under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention.

“This Convention was finally ratified by the government last March after what was an intolerable eleven-year delay. The 640,000 people with disabilities living in Ireland had reasonably assumed that the ratification of the Convention would also include ratifying the Optional Protocol. But it looks like they will remain disappointed.

“The Optional Protocol is what gives this Convention teeth and makes it tangible for people. It is a key enforcement mechanism which allows people to bring complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities where they believe their rights are being violated.

“The government’s official position in its 2015 roadmap was that it would indeed sign and ratify the protocol at the same time as the Convention. By failing to also ratify this protocol, Minister of State Finian McGrath is condemning people with disabilities to endure countless more years without any way to vindicate their rights.”

ENDS

4th December 2018