Age Action today urged the government to amend the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 in order for it to recognise older people’s rights to liberty and security. The call comes as Ireland undergoes its fourth examination under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today.
The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 was introduced as part of the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which affirms the equal rights of the disabled. But the bill, recently introduced by the Government, fails to recognise older people’s rights to liberty and security by:
- Failing to contain a commitment to the right to liberty of older people;
- Failing to contain a definition of deprivation of liberty, so that prohibition of deprivation becomes meaningless;
- Failing to commit to a review of the conditions of older people currently detained in nursing homes who are deprived of liberty;
- Failing to contain a procedure for the lawful deprivation of liberty for those who require residential care and are unable to consent to it.
“These failures make older people with dementia vulnerable to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and fail to recognise the rights of those who are deprived of liberty to be treated with humanity,” Age Action spokesperson Eamon Timmins said.
“The short comings in the bill should not just be a concern for the current generation of older people, for anyone who may lose mental capacity due to an injury or illness at any stage of their life.”
Age Action’s concerns are included in the Civil Society Report to the Fourth Periodic Examination of Ireland under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The report is available at http://iccl.ie/civil-society-report-to-the-fourth-periodic-examination-of-ireland-under-the-iccpr-%28june-2014%29.html.
Age Action is a member of the Joint Civil Society Steering Group on ICCPR which is coordinated by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). A delegation from the ICCL presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today on behalf of the group. The other members of the group are:
- Educate Together
- Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC)
- Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN)
- Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI)
- Inclusion Ireland
- Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR)(NUI Galway)
- Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) (Coordinator)
- Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA)
- Irish Traveller Movement (ITM)
- Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SoS)
- Trans-gender Equality Network Ireland (TENI)