Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says his party will sign up to the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  It comes following the passing of a Dáil motion ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last week.

Deputy Smith commented, “Fianna Fáil has been calling for the government to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for some time and I am glad that that motion has now been passed by the Dáil, however the government has not proposed that we also sign up to the Optional Protocol of the Convention.

“92 out of the 160 countries that have signed up to Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have signed up to the Optional Protocol, which aims to strengthen the implementation and monitoring of the Convention.

“It allows people to bring petitions to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) if they feel their rights have been breached.  It also provides for an inquiry procedure giving the Committee authority to undertake inquiries of grave or systematic violations of the Convention.

“I do not understand why the government did not sign up to the Optional Protocol.  When the Fine Gael and Labour Government published a road map to ratification of the Convention in 2015, it also committed to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol.  Minister Finian McGrath reaffirmed this commitment at the Oireachtas Justice Committee in December 2016.

“My party wants to see the Optional Protocol ratified and we will be bringing forward a Dáil motion to that effect”.