Above: CRPD march held in January.

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THIS Thursday, March 30th, UCDSU will be taking part in a national demonstration outside Leinster House calling on the government to ratify the United Nations’ Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). March 30th will mark 10 years since Ireland signed CRPD and has failed to ratify it in the Dáil.

UCDSU Disability Rights Coordinator Lucy Doyle is a member of the steering committee that is organising the march alongside disability rights activist Joanne O’Riordan and Stephen O’Riordan, director of “no limbs no limits”. Doyle said that the ratification of CRPD is “long past due”.

Over 100 disability organisation across the country have signed up to support the event on Thursday.

“The UNCRPD doesn’t ask for the government to create new rights for people with disabilities as all other human rights agreements apply to them too, it simply requires the state to promote and protect these rights they should have by taking extra measures to remove barriers that may be in the way of accessing these rights” Doyle said.

The convention is a list of rights concerning people with disabilities with the aim of improving their access to society, education and employment. Some of the rights laid out in this convention include the right to an adequate standard of living, right to participate in political and public life, right to work, and right to education.

The reason the government has taken so long to ratify CRPD is due to article 12 of the convention in regards to equal recognition before the law as it has contended it must pass new capacity legislation first. However there is no legal impediment to the State ratifying CRPD.

Since the recession, many disability supports have been cut including mobility allowance, motorised transport grants, and medical cards. Cutting these services, with CRPD ratified, would have meant the State breaching its obligations.

Ireland is the only country in the EU that has not ratified the convention. 172 countries worldwide have ratified CRPD.

Doyle stated “We believe that it is time for the government to stop pushing these fundamental rights aside for those with disabilities and keep up with the times.”