Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2018. This marked an important milestone in a process to strengthen the rights of people with disabilities in Ireland.
The approach being taken to meeting the obligations of the UNCRPD is one of progressive realisation, each year moving forward on key reforms, with the obligations arising from the Convention being met over time. Initial priority has been given to meeting legislative commitments.
Ireland currently has two whole-of-government strategies in place, the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (now extended until the end of 2022) and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, 2015-2024. These include important measures to support people with disabilities in all aspects of their lives. They encompass a wide diversity of people with disabilities, including those with Down's Syndrome.
These are the key frameworks for policy and action to address the needs of persons with disabilities in Ireland, and to improve their lives in a practical sense. They include actions on enabling people with disabilities to access education, to enter employment and to live independently. They are also the key framework for advancing progress with respect to UNCRPD obligations, including those raised by the Deputy. My Department coordinates these two strategies and my colleague, Minister of State Anne Rabbitte T.D., chairs the National Disability Inclusion Strategy Steering Group.