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Irish compliance with European Social Charter, disability convention

Ireland’s compliance with the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe was outlined by the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, in a reply to Robert Dowds (Lab, Dublin MW) (Dail Eireann, Debates, 13th April 2011, 163-5). The revised charter had come into effect in 1999 and had been ratified by Ireland in 2000.

She told him that of its 31 articles, Ireland had complied with almost all the revised charter, excepting §8, 21, 27 and 31.  As for the rest, Ireland had been found in non-conformity with several that were so wide ranging and diverse that it would not be possible to provide the details now, but she was happy to do so in follow-up correspondence.  She provided a table outlining when Ireland filed its national reports:

§    Due                Provided

1    2003             2003-2004

2    2004             2005-9

3    2005             2005-6

4    2006              2009

5   2007               2009

6   2008              2009

7   2009               2010

8   2010               Work ongoing

9   2011                Work ongoing

She added that filing these reports was time-consuming and resource intensive, but the government intended to complete the eighth report, outstanding since October 2010, in the next six to eight weeks.  As for Ireland’s non-conformity, Ireland had provided information on the measures it had taken to reach conformity and or explained the reasons for non-conformity.

Asked about Ireland’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, the Minister for Justice & Law Reform, Alan Shatter, told Jonathan O’Brien (SF,  Cork NC) that it was the government’s attention to ratify it as quickly as possible, once the legislative and administrative requirements were met (Dail Eireann, Debates, 7th April 2011, 666).  A key requirement was mental capacity legislation and the government announced on 5th April that  such a Bill was expected to be published in late 2011.  This would replace the ward of court system with a modern framework for adults lacking in capacity.