New rights for people with disabilities 'barely worth paper they are written on'

Despite the Government ratifying The Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the State is still "not willing to treat people with disabilities fairly in society", according to the Social Democrats Niall Ó Tuathail.

Mr Ó Tuathail, who is the Soc Dem Galway West candidate at the next General Election, has pointed out that, while the Government has ratified the convention, it has not signed the optional protocol, which allows groups or individuals to take complaints to the UN when their rights are being violated.

The convention seeks to ensure people with disabilities have better access to education, to transport, the right to have a family, and to work and participate in society. However Mr Ó Tuathail says not signing the protocol "means that the new rights are barely worth the paper they are written on".

He added: "It has taken Ireland 11 years to ratify this treaty and we are the last country in Europe to do so. It is Government putting out another intention to do the right thing without any consequences if they are not implemented."

The Social Democrats will be collecting signatures tomorrow and Saturday on Shop Street for a petition to the Minister of State with Responsibilities for Disability to immediately fully ratify the Optional Protocol.

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