Statement of PWDR on CRPD omission

Press Release

For General Release 09/03/18

People with Disabilities for Repeal condemn government for failure and deceit in Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities  ratification.

After an 11-year delay, on Wednesday Ireland became the last country in the EU to ratify the Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities.

The delay experienced was unacceptable, but the schedule put forward allowed for ratification of both the Treaty and the optional Protocol at the same time. This would allow for enforcement from the get go. As Ireland stated that it would not ratify until it was in compliance, this seemed fair.

The Disability Rights Community, had been relying on this promise – so when during the Dail debate, Minister McGrath skirted questions on the optional protocol, backs were raised.

It has since been confirmed that along with three major reservations (exceptions to basic rights), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  is being passed without the OP. This is contrary to repeated assurances given to the disability rights community that they would be ratified together. The wider disability community were not consulted or informed when the government went back on their pledge to ratify the CRPD and the OP together.  It is unclear if any disabled peoples’ organisation was consulted or informed.

This is an incredibly disappointing decision that undermines Ireland’s claimed commitment to the effective realisation of disability rights.

The Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities  OP allows for communications from individuals/groups to the Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities  committee. It is the most effective measure we would have to hold the government to account, to seek action on the violations of rights faced by Irish people with disabilities.

We’ve been given our rights but no means to enforce them.   The Op was the main way that people with disabilities could hold the government to account internationally.

That write the reports, and disabled peoples organisations only contribute through shadow reporting. This is not sufficient

Reporting happens on the governments terms. Reports are written  by government agencies. Civil society can only contribute  through shadow reporting.

Also reports have to look at every single rights violation, in all areas of life. This means we can only see the tip of the iceberg of rights violations.

Without the OPTIONAL PROTOCOL   huge rights violations (like the current housing situation and those who suffer  under it) will only be examined as part of the larger picture. There will not be enough time or resources to address them.

Several TD’s asked about the ratification of the optional protocol. The question was skirted by Minister McGrath, who instead used his response time to justify why there was no Irish Sign Language interpreter or closed  captioning on a disability debate.

Minister McGrath and his governments actions on this is a betrayal of the people with disabilities residing in this country.  Not only are we gaining what is effectively a toothless treaty, we have been victims of a fraud in the concealment of the omission of the optional protocol.


People with Disabilities for Repeal, are a group of people with disabilities, and disability rights activists who are campaigning for self-determination in Irish law. Reproductive rights are disability rights and we want to make them a reality for all Irish people.

Our spokes people are Maria Ni Fhlatharta 0857057691 and Alannah Murray 0852291106 and can be emailed at


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