On 9 June 2015, Politics Plus was delighted to host a seminar on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
On 9 June 2015, Politics Plus was delighted to host a seminar on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The Convention was the first human rights treaty of the third millennium and it requires that countries that endorse it promote and protect the human rights of persons with disabilities. This is a particularly important issue in Northern Ireland where the 2011 census revealed that 1-in-5 people experience limitations in terms of completing day-to-day activities as the result of disability or long-standing ill health.
Despite the existence of the Executive’s Disability Strategy 2012-2015, research continues to suggest that there is a long way to go in terms of meeting the obligations set out in the UNCRPD. In light of this, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission invited Dima Yared of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway to offer the benefit of their experiences in this area.
After the Speaker opened the event by discussing the Northern Ireland Assembly’s commitment to the promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms Yared told the audience about the genesis of the Convention. She set out the role parliaments have to play in ensuring that rights on paper are realised in practice. Dr Flynn then offered an international perspective that explored the critical factors for ensuring success. These included the need for strong leadership, transparency and independent monitoring. The audience left with a better understanding of the importance of the Convention and a will to see it fully implemented.