Wednesday 22 November 2017

Disabled people have overcome obstacles, but still have to fight for dignity and rights

Census 2012 showed us that among people with disabilities aged 15 to 49, 16pc had completed no higher than primary level education, compared with 5pc of the general population. Photo: PA
Census 2012 showed us that among people with disabilities aged 15 to 49, 16pc had completed no higher than primary level education, compared with 5pc of the general population. Photo: PA

Padraig Hannafin

Today is a day marked by frustration for people living with disabilities in Ireland. It marks the 10th anniversary since Ireland signed, but failed to ratify, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

This agreement was drawn up to recognise the rights of people with disabilities and to help us play a more active role in our own lives. Ireland's continued failure to ratify the treaty is an affront to people with disabilities here. We are now the last country in Europe to prioritise the rights of 600,000 Irish citizens living with disabilities.

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".

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