Inclusion Ireland calls on the State to uphold the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities in mental health services

Inclusion Ireland, the National Association for People with an Intellectual Disability, has called on the Government to uphold the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities living in 24-hour supervised residences for people with mental illnesses.

The advocacy organisation made its call in response to the publication today (25/07/19) of a report by Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services. Dr Finnerty’s report found “continuing breaches of human rights” as well as a “risk of abuse and substandard living” for the just over 1200 people currently living in 24-hour supervised residences.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Enda Egan, CEO of Inclusion Ireland said: “Today’s report makes disturbing reading. It highlights the multiple human rights abuses experienced by people living in these settings, including clear breaches of the right to privacy and the right to access appropriate care and treatment as well as the right to live independently with support”.

“Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last year after significant delay. Article 19 reaffirms the right of persons with disabilities to live independently, with the right supports. As we approach Ireland’s first reporting cycle under the UNCRPD next year, it is clear that services such as these are very far from complying with the UNCRPD”.

Echoing Dr Finnerty’s call for regulation of 24-hour supervised residences, Enda Egan continued: “Older people’s services have been regulated since 2009 and services for people with disabilities since 2013. We know that regulation plays an important role in improving services and protecting and promoting people’s rights. It is unacceptable that these services, which are aimed at people with some of the most complex needs, remain unregulated”.

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Further Information

Inclusion Ireland

Inclusion Ireland is a national rights-based advocacy organisation that works to promote the rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. The advocacy organisation provides a central forum to identify priorities and formulate nationally agreed policies to present to government, statutory bodies, other relevant groups as well as the general public. Inclusion Ireland campaigns for changes in services and legislation that will improve the quality of life and participation of people with an intellectual disability in Irish society in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.