The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities specifies that states must put a National Framework in place to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the Convention.  Currently there is no national framework in place in the UK.

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is the focal point at UK level for coordinating the implementation of the Convention. In Northern Ireland, the Department for Communities is responsible for this. At departmental level, all departments need to consider what the Convention says when developing a policy or programme that affects disabled people. The best way to do this is to ensure disabled people are involved in this process. If disabled people or others identify a gap or a problem where they think Convention rights are not met, the department must consider the problem and how it might be overcome.

Reporting to the UN Committee

In August 2017 a delegation from Northern Ireland attended the first examination of the UK State by the UNCRPD Committee in Geneva.  You can read Patrick’s Blog about this experience.  You can also read Tony’s blog about a visit in March to help inform the UNCRPC Committee on the issues for disabled people in Northern Ireland.


From 2010 Disability Action has worked to develop a shadow report on the UNCRPD.  In 2011 the UK State submitted its report to the UN on what it had done to implement the Convention.   The actual examination under UNCRPD didn’t take place until 2017 for a number of reasons.

Between 2010 and 2017 Disability Action developed a number of reports which looked at how the UNCRPD is being implemented in NI.  The final report what was submitted to the UN in 2017 is available to download below.

Northern Ireland Alternative Report on the Implementation of the UNCRPD in NI 2017

What the UNCRPD Committee Said

The UN Committee made a wide range of recommendations to the UK Government.  These are called Concluding Observations.

You can read the full document on the Committee website.

There are some recommendations that are specific to Northern Ireland.  But equally all the recommendations need to be considered by the UK Government.

What next?

Disabled people and their organisations can use what the Committee has said to help campaign for the rights of people with disabilities.

Disability Action is developing a range of Briefing Papers to help everyone understand what the Committee have said.

Education UNCRPD Briefing Paper Northern Ireland 2018

Independent Living UNCRPD Briefing Paper Northern Ireland 2018

Employment UNCRPD Briefing Paper Northern Ireland 2018

We will continue to work with our Colleagues from throughout the UK to ensure that the recommendations that the Committee have made are implemented.