In April 2010, Great Britain introduced the Equality Act 2010 which strengthened, simplified and harmonized disability equality law for disabled people in GB. We are calling on the NI Executive to change the law here as significant gaps exist in disability equality legislation in Northern Ireland.
We are recommending urgent reform of the disability equality legislation
protecting disabled people in Northern Ireland. Recognising the important legislative protection which disabled people may already have, it is clear that there are significant gaps which need to be addressed.
In summary our recommendations are to:
Strengthen, simplify and harmonise the legislation
Improve protection against different types of discrimination
Reform of the definition of disability, including removal of the list of capabilities
Protect carers, family and friends of disabled people
Protect against harassment outside employment
Prohibit pre-employment disability questions
Place a duty on schools to provide auxiliary aids and services, where reasonable; and
Provide additional protection for disabled tenants
Download our disability law reform recommendations:
See our real stories
of people who have experienced potential discrimination on grounds of their disability.
What is the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?
It is an international treaty which identifies the rights of disabled people as well as the obligations on Parliament and the NI Assembly to promote, protect and ensure those rights.
UNCRPD explains that all disabled people have and should be able to enjoy the same human rights as other people. It sets an international benchmark for the human rights of disabled people. The areas covered by UNCRPD include: health, education, employment, access to justice, personal security, independent living and access to information. Read more>
What is the Equality Commission's role?
The Equality Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
(NIHRC) are jointly designated as the 'independent mechanism
' to promote, protect and monitor implementation of UNCRPD. It is our responsibility to look at how UNCRPD is being implemented in Northern Ireland, and report on this to the UN Committee. We will be working with NIHRC to update and revise key recommendations in advance of the UN Committee examination of the UK State Party.
Northern Ireland 'Parallel' Jurisdictional Report
We have produced a working paper, containing details specific to Northern Ireland. This paper will raise awareness of key issues in Northern Ireland and drive action by Government and others to address identified shortfall, thereby advancing the full implementation of the UNCRPD in Northern Ireland. Download the NI 'Parallel' Jurisdictional Report Working Paper'
(pdf, Jul 2014)
UKIM 'List of Issues' interim report
The UK Independent Mechanism has released its list of issues interim report
(pdf). The report was drawn together by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and brings together the available evidence to set out the key issues faced by disabled people in the UK today.