URGENT CALL TO ACTION
Subject:URGENT! DISABILITY BILL TO BE DEBATED TOMORROW TUESDAY
I am contacting you as a matter of urgency. On Tuesday evening (31st January) and Wednesday the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016 -Order for Second Stage and Second Stage will be debated in the Dáíl.
- If its at all possible for you to come along to the Dail tomorrow at 5.30pm please do! If you think you can come then please contact your local TD and ask them to sponsor your attendance.
- If you cannot attend, I would ask you as a matter of urgency, to contact your local TD and let them know that it is of upmost importance that they attend and participate in this debate.
- You could ask them to raise one of the questions below to the Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian Mc Grath TD one of the questions below.
Given the timeframe involved, where possible if people have a chance to visit their local TD at a constituency clinic or call their office, it would be most welcome. The Center for Independent Living is a member of the Equality and Rights Alliance (ERA)and I have also attached submission made by ERA to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality on the General Scheme of the Equality (Miscellaneous Previsions Bill) which outlines in more detail the background to the issues raised in the questions below. Submission PDF
Time is of the essence, and we apologise for not having a longer lead-in on this vital debate but it has been brought forward and hence the urgency of this email.
1. Can the Minister outline whether there has been any formal, structured consultation process with Civil Society, and specifically with people with disabilities since the publication of the Roadmap to Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in October 2015 to inform this bill?
2. Given that the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights recommends placing “the focal point on the Convention close to the heart of the government, such as in the office of the present or the prime minister, or the Cabinet Office” is the location of the focal point within the Equality division of the Department of Justice too narrow and siloed and would it not be better placed within the Department of An Taoiseach to ensure cross-departmental collaboration and leadership at a cabinet level?
3. Article 33(3) of the Convention sets out the requirement to involve people with a disability in the monitoring process: “Civil society, in particular persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, shall be involved and participate fully in the monitoring process”. Can the Minister outline how people with lived experience will be resourced and facilitated to play a crucial role in monitoring the implementation of the UN CRPD in Ireland?
4. Can the Minister outline how the Bill will make legislative provisions to ensure that people with lived experience are the key constituents in monitoring the UN CRPD in Ireland?
5. Can the Minister outline what legal advice his Department has sought from the Attorney General in relation to reasonable accommodation and the ratification of the UN CRPD? Can the minister ask the Taoiseach to waive confidentiality with regard to any such written legal advice and make same public so that it can be considered by this House and our my constituents with disabilities?
6. Can the Minister outline if this bill represents a full ratification of the UN CRPD and if not, what reservations are being proposed and why?
7. Article 14 (b) of the UN CRPD clearly states that persons with disabilities should not be “deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily, and that any deprivation of liberty is in conformity with the law, and that the existence of a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty.” The absence of specific legislation on the deprivation of liberty as part of this bill is worrying. Given the seriousness of this equality and human rights issue, has the Minister engaged in any formal structured discussion with Civil Society organisations in relation to the Deprivation of liberty and when will legislation be developed in conjunction with persons with disabilities on this issue?
Center for Independent Living