317. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the process of invigilation she will put in place to ensure the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities under Article 33 of the Convention; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6628/16]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Work is under way on drawing up an Equality Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill to progress miscellaneous legislative amendments necessary to proceed to ratification. The necessary legislative provisions to fulfil the requirements of Article 33 of the Convention will be included in the Bill, following consultations with relevant stakeholders.
The Department of Justice and Equality will be designated as the focal point within the Government. This is already in place at an administrative level. As indicated in the Government's roadmap to ratification, published in October 2015, the monitoring framework would include roles for both the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and the National Disability Authority (NDA). As the Independent Mechanism, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission would have the function to protect, promote and monitor the implementation of the Convention and to submit periodic independent reports to the UN. As Ireland’s National Human Rights Institution, the IHREC fully meets the required standard of independence in accordance with the Paris Principles. The NDA’s function would involve preparing independent assessments of progress, including the compilation of statistical information, which would inform the periodic independent reports of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
There will also be an active role for civil society and disability stakeholders in the monitoring process. The IHREC is specifically mandated in section 18 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 to establish Advisory Committees and other methods of consultation with relevant agencies and with NGOs and other civil society interests. The Department of Justice and Equality also consults with the Disability Stakeholders Group. The group comprises both disability service users and disability service providers, and was set up to participate in monitoring and oversight of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy. In addition, the NDA can advise on effective ways to consult with people with disabilities and, if so requested, could also undertake consultation with people with disabilities to inform the reporting and monitoring process.
Taken together, these mechanisms provide a good basis for civil society to fully participate in the monitoring process, and consultation on the precise form of such involvement will continue.