Rehab Group has welcomed Ireland’s first Disability Advisory Committee, set up to monitor implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The 11-strong statutory advisory committee will advise the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in fulfilling its independent monitoring role of the implementation of the convention. The CRPD was ratified by Ireland in 2018 more than a decade after being first signed by the State and is now in force. Ireland is expected to produce its first report to the United Nations in Geneva on its implementation of the Convention in 2020.

As the group begins its work, Kathleen O’Meara, Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Fundraising with Rehab Group says its members will play a vital role in ensuring those most vulnerable in society benefit from the rights enshrined to them in law. Many of the 11 members of the committee have lived experience of disability, giving them a unique and authentic insight into the issues faced.

Kathleen O’Meara said: “The UNCRPD provides in law for equal access to work, health, justice, education, housing, transport and information for people living with disabilities, among many other rights. It includes those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments and applies to adults and children.

“By ratifying the Convention the Irish Government committed to making sure these basic rights are enjoyed by all. It’s now time to see meaningful progress on that commitment. The rights enshrined in the Convention are pivotal to allowing those who are most vulnerable in our society to live full and independent lives of their choosing.

“Ireland will make its first report on the progress of UNCRPD implementation to the UN in 2020. Rehab Group, which supports over 17,000 people with disabilities, hopes the work of this group will ensure that report portrays an accurate picture.”