448. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the budget allocation he plans putting in place in 2018 and 2019 in order to establish a UNCRPD implementation working group and oversight committee which will ensure the swift implementation and integration of the UNCRPD here. [25433/18]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Article 33 of the UNCRPD requires State Parties to designate a focal point within government for matters relating to the implementation of the Convention, and establish a framework, including one or more independent mechanisms, to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the CRPD. It also requires the involvement and participation of civil society, in particular, persons with disabilities, in the monitoring process.
The monitoring framework for the Convention will include the involvement of both the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and the National Disability Authority (NDA). IHREC, as Ireland’s National Human Rights Institution will, with the assistance of the NDA, play a key a role in supplying periodic independent reports to the UN.
The Equality Division in the Department of Justice and Equality will be the designated focal point as it has policy responsibility for the equality aspects of disability matters. The Division already provides the Secretariat to the National Disability Strategy Implementation Group (NDSIG) which I Chair and where the UNCRPD will be discussed regularly.
It is not possible to arrive at a precise budgetary figure as a key issue in relation to the implementation of the Convention is the coordination of efforts across a range of Government Departments. Individual actions across different Departments have associated cost implications which are included in the votes of the relevant Departments.
I have always placed a strong emphasis on securing adequate funding with €1.76 Billion allocated by the Department of Health for disability services in 2018 representing an increase of 4.4% on 2017. Furthermore, in December of 2017, I announced the securing of an additional €10 million funding for respite care.