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Disabled People: UN Convention

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the answers by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 9 July (Official Report, House of Lords, cols. 747–50), when they now expect to ratify the United Nations Convention on Disability Rights. [HL384]

The Government's intention is to achieve ratification at the earliest practicable opportunity. We have made considerable progress since the then Minister for Disabled People's Parliamentary Written Statement of 6 May (Hansard ref col. 29WS) which identified the issues under consideration. I am pleased to say that no reservations or declarations will be required in respect of aspects of mental health legislation; choice of place of residence; and cultural services. The Ministry of Defence, Home Office and Department for Children Schools and Families are finalising the terms of their reservations and/or declarations in respect of service in the Armed Forces, immigration and citizenship and the provision of special education. My department is considering whether there is a need for a reservation in respect of Article 12 (legal capacity) and the review of arrangements for benefit appointees. Given the steps that remain, our ambition is to ratify this convention in the spring of 2009. The time from signature to ratification of similar conventions by the UK varies considerably, and is on average four years, but we plan to ratify this convention in two years.