UCD Students’ Union Disability Rights Co-ordinator Amy Hassett (pictured) has released a video urging Irish students to march on December 9th to pressure the Irish government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD). The convention which Ireland along with 159 countries signed over 10 years ago has yet to be ratified by the Irish government.
The convention “clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.”
Ms Hassett has been waiting for 10 years to be seen as an equal citizen in Ireland. “Three days before my eleventh birthday, Ireland along with 159 other countries signed a UN convention that would give me and all people living in Ireland with disabilities the same rights as everybody else”. A decade later, Amy has since blown out the candles on her 21st birthday cake, and Ireland remains the only EU country who hasn’t yet put the convention into law. “That was 10 years ago. Now I’m an adult, a UCD student. I’ve grown older, but not much taller, and Ireland still hasn’t turned this convention into law.”
“I’m asking you to tell your friends and family about this. To convince them to march with us on December 9th, to let our government know that we won’t wait another 10 years while people with disabilities are treated like second-class citizens.”
UCDSU President Barry Murphy has backed Ms Hassett’s call saying “Amy is just one student on campus, one woman in Ireland, one voice of many who are being ignored by our government. We should be ashamed to accept this lack of effort. We are breaking international laws every day we wait to ratify the UNCRPD.”
He added “UCDSU are privileged to have Amy as part of our elected council. She is highlighting for us the changes we need to make on our UCD campus now while opening our eyes to the wider national disregard for her and all those living with disabilities in Ireland. We urge all students from UCD and beyond to come out on Saturday, the 9th of December, and join us at the GPO. Bring your friends, bring your family, walk beside Amy to Leinster House to show her, we hear her and want her voice heard.”
A protest march will be held in Dublin on December 9th to pressure the Irish government into ratifying the convention. More details about the march can be found here.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor