Law Society: Disability rights have ‘fallen off the legislative agenda’
The Law Society of Ireland has called on the State to “realise its international obligations to Irish people with disabilities” to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities today.
Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in March 2018, some 11 years after it first committed to do so, but has yet to ratify the optional protocol to the CRPD, which provides a complaints mechanism.
The Law Society called for the ratification of the optional protocol in an extensive list of recommendations to safeguard the rights of people with disabilities submitted to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth earlier this year.
Gary Lee, chair of the Law Society’s human rights and equality committee, said: “We are extremely concerned at the failure of the State to meaningfully progress the rights of people with disabilities in Ireland.
“We welcome the government commitment to commence the Decision Support Service in July 2022 and abolish the archaic wards of court system.
“However, the long-promised Disability Bill seems to have fallen off the legislative agenda, we also need to urgently progress mental health legislation and protection of liberty safeguards.
“On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities we call on the State to realise its international obligations to Irish people with disabilities.”
He added: “Domestic legislation urgently needs to be brought into line with the CRPD. Furthermore, the failure to ratify the optional protocol denies our citizens with disabilities the mechanism to hold the Irish State accountable. Ireland is in the minority in this regard, the majority of countries having already ratified this protocol.”