215. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when Ireland will sign and ratify the optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15056/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) following a cabinet decision on the 30th of January 2018. Following the passing of a resolution in the Dáil, the instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN on the 20th of March 2018 and the Convention came into force for Ireland on the 19th of April 2018.
The Convention and the Optional Protocol cover a broad range of commitments some of which require substantive cultural change such as those relating to de-congregation, personalised budgets and deprivation of liberty.
The Government’s approach to meeting the terms of the Convention is one of sustained and ongoing improvement. Work is continuing on the reforms needed for an optimum level of compliance with the Convention's requirements. Accordingly, the Optional Protocol is not being ratified at this time but will be ratified at the earliest opportunity following completion of Ireland's first reporting cycle, which will identify any additional actions needed to ensure the highest possible level of compliance with the Convention.