Newstalk
Newstalk

08.19 5 Dec 2017


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The Cabinet will discuss ratifying the United Nations Convention for People with Disabilities today - more than 10 years on from signing up to it.

Ireland is now the only country not to ratify the convention.

Minister Finian McGrath said there was lots they had to do in the last year to pave the way for its signing.

This morning he wants to plan a date to finish the job.

"We all have a duty to support people with disabilities and this is part of that strategy: the UN convention, the Irish sign language bill and the national inclusion disability strategy, which is running over the next four years - whish is 114 actions.

"We've already implemented many of those actions, but we need to get on and do the rest of the job".

Draft legalisation due to be brought before Cabinet this week is set to be put to public consultation.

Labour spokesperson on Disability, Kathleen Lynch, has expressed concern at how long it is taking the Government to complete the necessary steps.

"Despite signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities over 10 years ago, Ireland is the only EU state that still has not ratified the treaty.

"Many people are quite rightly frustrated, and confused, as to why this process is taking so long.

“Having successfully guided the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 through the Dáil in 2015, which itself was considered a major step on the road to ratification, I understand the process can be complex.

"However there has been a roadmap in place to drive forward ratification process since October 2015, and the references to the provisions on the Deprivation of Liberty that the Minister refers to have been around now for two years.

"While it is obviously important to get it right, I am concerned at how long its taking for these issues to be ironed out to get the legislation across the line.

"With just a few weeks to go until Christmas, public consultation on the provisions - which still need to be approved by Government - are not likely to be concluded until sometime in the new year.

"No-one really knows just how long the current political arrangement will last, and the Government must ensure there are no more long delays to ratifying this treaty."


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