Dear Minister McGrath,
I am writing to you to raise awareness of the importance of funding Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPO’s) and especially regarding the position of the National Platform of Self Advocates (http://thenationalplatform.ie/) which has stated it cannot continue any longer after January 2020 without funding. Announced on International Day of People with Disabilities when buildings around the country went *going purple* to support disability. ( http://thenationalplatform.ie/closure-national-platform-self-advocates/ ).
I feel also you will appreciate that it is crucial that this work continues from your own experience as a parent.
As you are aware Equality and non-Discrimination are core principles which underpin the CRPD. The full and active participation of PWD’s, on an equal basis with others, the ‘nothing about us without us’ the unofficial motto of the Convention reminds us why DOP’s are crucial. As someone advocating for human rights in the mental health and intellectual disability arenas, I have met various members of the platform advocating, got to know them and indeed participated giving training input as the platform did to various professionals and national advocacy service staff at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy. I am currently studying at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy for an LLM in comparative disability law and policy and both myself and fellow students are frequently reminded of the importance of DPO’s and the work and advocacy of the platform.
The CRPD committee issued a General Comment Number 7 on Article 4.3 and 33.3 of the CRPD in respect of the participation of persons with disabilities in the implementation and monitoring of the Convention (Adopted 21 September 2018).
It clearly clarifies and sets out the States obligations in relation to DPOS’s.
These obligations are clearly not being met in relation to the National Platform of Self Advocates.
Please see also the report on research commissioned by IHREC around the monitoring and implementation of UNCRPD. https://www.ihrec.ie/app/uploads/2016/05/Establishing-a-Monitoring-Framework-CRPD-WEB-151020119.pdf
I would be very grateful if you could arrange to liaise and possibly meet urgently with representatives of the platform to address the lack of funding issue for National Platform of Self Advocates to continue after January. The broader issue of how the State is going to go beyond the precarious charity/philanthropy model and ensure long term funding for DOP’s to uphold its international human rights obligations also needs to be addressed.