COVID-19 Briefing Paper

Apr 02 2020 Posted: 12:47 IST

The rights of persons with disabilities in congregated settings within the COVID-19 emergency

Updated 12th May 2020

We recognise the extensive work and sincere commitment of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in responding to the COVID-19 emergency. We appreciate the work of HSE Seclusion and Restraint working group to develop guidelines in relation to people with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 emergency. As this is an emerging situation it is important to use the limited information available to in the public spheres.

The purpose of this paper is to capture the critical information that may be relevant to Ireland at this time in relation to persons with disabilities residing in congregated settings.

This paper will outline the rights of persons with disabilities resident in congregated settings in Ireland under the UNCRPD. It will then look at reports and practices in other countries of how similar services are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will make recommendations as to how to address core issues which have been identified by disability service providers in Ireland. This paper is focused on the operation of residential settings. We acknowledge that persons with disabilities living in the community will also experience significant barriers to the realization of their right to the highest attainable standards of health, the right to live independently and to be treated equally to non-disabled people. Adequate supports must be provided to persons with disabilities who receive support and care from family members.

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