Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will today host a major European Parliamentary hearing on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Speaking from Brussels, Martina Anderson said;
“I am delighted to be co-hosting this vital hearing and equally delighted to have been appointed the lead MEP on this file for the Civil Liberties committee in the European Parliament.
“In May last year the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities presented a report to the European Union outlining deficiencies they identified. They made several recommendations for immediate consideration and implementation by the EU.
“The lack of a strategy for implementing the Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the EU institutions was a primary concern. On top of that the lack of obvious human rights based approach to policy making within the institutions was another highlighted concern, as well as the fact that new and future legislation, regulations and policies haven’t been harmonised with the Convention.
Ms Anderson continued,
“Aftermeeting with Disability Action in Derry, it need for an Accessibility Act was highlighted, especially after the UN initiated a private inquiry into investigating violations of disabled people’s human rights as a result of British welfare cuts.
“Indeed, spending cuts in Member States have hurt people with disabilities the most. What must it be like for the 80 million disabled people who need access to computers, ATMs, telecommunications, banking and transport – services that we all take for granted?
“An Accessibility Act would put obligations on Member States to take the necessary measures to include legislation to ensure accessibility, and it would support the UN Convention of the rights of persons with a disability – a Convention that Ireland has yet to ratify. So whilst the proposed Directive is welcome, and a step in the right direction, I think it is long overdue.” ENDS