The Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath T.D., today welcomed the Government decision to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) as a watershed moment for all of Irish society. 

“Today marks a key moment, not only for people living with a disability, but also for their families, friends and support networks and for Irish society generally. Today the Government reaffirms its commitment to the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities by approving the process to initiate ratification of the Convention” said the Minister. 

The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.  

“We will shortly bring a resolution to the Dáil that enables us to ratify the CRPD. This will be followed by the depositing of the instrument of amalgamation with the United Nations. The Convention enters into force 30 days after being deposited.  

Government has today agreed to prioritise all remaining necessary legislation.  

The Disability (Miscellaneous) Provisions Bill will be enacted by the end of 2018 along with a new Bill to provide safeguards for older people, persons with a disability and certain categories of people with mental health issues to ensure that they are not unlawfully deprived of their liberty in residential facilities” the Minister said. 

Minister McGrath paid tribute to the various disability stakeholder groups who have been instrumental in getting to the point of ratification. 

“Ratification of the Convention was a key commitment in the Programme for Government and has been one of the highest of priorities for me since becoming Minister. I am very pleased to now be able to deliver on that commitment. It rebalances the right of people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves, rather than have decisions made for them. With ratification soon to be in place, I can now focus on using the Convention to better equip and resource people with disabilities to improve their quality of life.”