Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Disability Services

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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371. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of disabled persons organisations as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (details supplied) that are represented on the Disability Participation and Consultation Network. [49861/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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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 that has gathered momentum since Ireland became a signatory to the Convention in 2007.

Our approach 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.

The UNCRPD requires State parties to actively involve people with disabilities in policy development (Article 4.3). It is important that the experiences and perspectives of people with disabilities are integrated into the development of policies and programmes so that they meet their needs effectively.

My Department has funded the development of a Disability Participation and Consultation Network to build capacity within the disability community so that people with disabilities and their representative organisations can participate fully.The Network was formed in late 2020.

The Disability Participation and Consultation Network has a total of 117 members. Members include disability organisations, disabled people's organisations, individuals with disabilities and family members and support groups. They represent a wide and diverse set of experiences of disabilities. The wide and varied membership ensures that there is a wide range of perspectives representing the diversity of people with disabilities.

The Network has an organising member and four grant funded members that were selected by an open process. The organising member is tasked with organisational and administrative duties for the Network and for providing a single point of contact for the work it is involved in. There are four grant funded members which are funded to support their involvement in the Network and in engaging and providing supports to the wider membership. While there is currently no central list of DPOs in Ireland, there are two organisations, of the four grant funded members, which state that they are DPOs. One of those organisations is itself a coalition that represents 7 organisations that identify specifically as DPOs.

This Network is an important initiative that will help us to realise both the spirit and the substance of the UNCRPD in Ireland.

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