Government agrees to ratify UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Despite having signed up in 2007, Ireland is the only EU country not to have ratified the Convention

Government agrees to ratify UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Finian McGrath. Image: RollingNews.ie

The Government has agreed to begin the process of ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

According to the UN, the CRPD is aimed at ensuring "that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms".

We are currently the only EU country not to have ratified the Convention, despite having signed it back in 2007.

Activists such as Inclusion Ireland have said the decade-long delay in ratifying the UN rules meant Ireland was "out of step with international norms".

Governments have previously cited legal barriers for the delay - but the Cabinet has now agreed to prioritise all remaining legislation necessary for the Convention's enforcement.

Following the Government's decision today, a resolution to ratify the Convention will soon be brought before the Dáil.

The CRPD will ultimately come into force in Ireland 30 days after the ratification is formally lodged with the UN.

In a statement, Finian McGrath - the Minister of State for Disability Issues - described it as a 'watershed moment' for Irish society.

In a statement, Minister McGrath said: “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.

“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."

He added: "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."