WATCH: Ratification of the Optional Protocol of the UNCRPD


Deputy Patrick Costello: My question is for the Minister with responsibility for disabilities. Will the Minister commit to ratifying the optional protocol of the UNCRPD in the lifetime of the Government? There is not much time left.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman: As the Taoiseach outlined in the House last week, the Government’s commitment is to sign the optional protocol during its term of office. Last August, my Department commissioned external legal advice to see where exactly we were non-compliant with the protocol and on what areas we needed to work. That legal advice will be coming to my Department in the next number of weeks. It is nearly completed. When I get it, I will bring a memo to the Cabinet setting out where the legislative changes needed in my Department and other Departments are while also creating an interdepartmental group so that we can progress those changes, given that some of them will be in other Departments. It is the ambition of the Taoiseach, me, the rest of the Government and the Minister of State, Deputy Rabbitte, to sign the optional protocol in the remaining lifetime of this Government. Today, we are setting out a pathway for how we will achieve that.