Disability groups warn that UN convention needs to be backed up with action

Disability groups are warning the government that ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities needs to be backed up with action.

The Dail approved the ratification last night, 11 years after it was first signed by Ireland.

Ireland is the last EU country to formally approve the convention, which is designed to ensure people with disabilities have equal rights in all areas of life.

Groups are now calling to make sure it will lead to positive changes for people with disabilities here.

Senator John Dolan, Chief Executive of the Disability Federation of Ireland, says ratification alone isn't enough.

"When you ratify the convention, you're giving an undertaking that you're going to have a progressive programme of implementation," he said.

He said that such a programme should include public transport, housing, employment and income support.

Last night, the Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath T.D., said the approval of the terms of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities marked a key moment not only for people living with a disability, but also for their families, friends and support networks and for Irish society generally.

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