Bree dismay at the lack of disability progress
The government's continued failure to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities is not only deeply worrying but also demonstrates a lack of commitment to people with disabilities who are currently at risk of being further excluded from decisions which impact on their daily lives, said Cllr Declan Bree, the Chairman of Sligo County Council's Disability Consultative Committee.
Speaking this week Cllr Bree said, "Ten years have passed since Ireland signed the U.N Convention in March 2007 but to date the government has failed to ratify it. International law requires a two-step process to be of legal force. Each State must first sign the Treaty and then ratify it.
"Though Ireland was one of the first countries to sign the Convention we are now the only E.U. member state which has failed to ratify it.
"The U.N. Convention sets out in clear terms that the rights of persons with disabilities are human rights and these rights apply equally to persons with disabilities; the fact that the Convention has not been ratified BY Ireland would indicate that people with disabilities are not considered a priority by national government.
"There are hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in Ireland. According to the 2011 census there are 9,248 people with disabilities in county Sligo amounting to 14% of the population.
"Many people with disabilities face severe economic pressures - about half of people with disabilities have extra costs associated with their disability and figures show that people with disabilities are at almost twice the risk of living in poverty as the general population.
"There is also a serious lack of appropriate, accessible private and social housing available for people with disabilities along with a lack of accessible and readily available transport and parking. In addition people with disabilities have great difficulty finding and retaining employment
"In this context it is now of the utmost importance that the Government stops its delaying tactics and ratifies the U.N. Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities without further delay." said Cllr Bree.