United Nation’s investigation in the UK concerning the human rights of disabled people- submission deadline

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I reported last year that the UK is to be investigated formally by the United Nations because of allegations of “systematic and grave” violations of disabled people’s human rights.

In August I wrote that officials from the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) are to visit Britain. The inquiry is confidential, and those giving evidence have been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.

A United Nations team have arrived in the UK and it’s understood they will visit Manchester, London, Bristol, as well as parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The United Nations team are also expecting to meet with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, members of parliament, individual campaigners and disabled people’s organisations, representatives from local authorities and academics.

The team will be gathering direct evidence from individuals about the impact of government austerity measures, with a focus on benefit cuts and sanctions; cuts to social care; cuts to legal aid; the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF); the adverse impact of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA); the shortage of accessible and affordable housing; the impact of the bedroom tax on disabled people, and also, the rise in disability hate crime.

In 2013, Amnesty International condemned the erosion of human rights of disabled people in UK, and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights conducted an inquiry into the UK Government’s implementation of Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the right to live independently and to be included in the community. The inquiry, which began in 2011, has received evidence from over 300 witnesses.

The inquiry highlighted just how little awareness, understanding and employment of the Convention there is by the (then) Tory-led Government. Very few of the witnesses made specific reference to the Convention in their presented evidence, despite the inquiry being conducted by the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, with the terms of reference clearly framing the inquiry as being about Article 19 of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities. (UNCRPD.)

“This finding is of international importance”, said Oliver Lewis, MDAC Executive Director, “Our experience is that some Governments are of the view that the CRPD is nothing more than a policy nicety, rather than a treaty which sets out legal obligations which governments must fulfil.”

The report was particularly critical of the Minister for Disabled People (Maria Miller, at the time) who told the Committee that the CRPD was “soft law”. The Committee criticised this as “indicative of an approach to the treaty which regards the rights it protects as being of less normative force than those contained in other human rights instruments.” (See the full report.) The Committee’s view is that the CRPD is hard law, not soft law. 

In August, I wrote about how the inquiry was triggered by campaigners and groups using the convention’s optional protocol, (which the last Labour government signed us up to, in addition to the convention.) The protocol allows individuals (and groups) who are affected by violations to submit formal complaint to the UNCRPD.

The deadline for evidence submissions to the UNCRPD is thought to be 31 October.

Contact details are here.

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29 thoughts on “United Nation’s investigation in the UK concerning the human rights of disabled people- submission deadline

  1. I’m disabled and have been assessed for work I can’t walk or move myself I’m incontinent and would love to tell my situation I can’t claim jsa I can’t get to a job centre to sign on I’m severely depressed and I can’t cope with it I’ve tempted suicide and I have a young son who is also suffering through my disability

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  2. Thank god we are getting the help we need how the government can put us through all this horrendous stress the deaths that have, occured, people committing suicide as they cannot cope any more. As where do you turn to for help as your mental health leaves you in a fog and then you give up as in your head there is no hope and it happens over and over again with more people dying every hour every day in these circumstances, because of this evil government .I’m struggling myself with ESA I have been to numerous assessments never ever got passed always had to do a Mandatory Reconsideration, the first time it that never got passed I had to go to a tribunal I as lucky at the time Labour was still in power. Then when I had to have another assessment it never got passed, I as forced to end up going to court again as at the time the Tories got in power, iv had hell of a job I was not treat with any respect at the assessment, the Doctor I could not understand him he spoke very quick and his English was quite hard to understand as he seemed to curl his words with every sentence, I had my Auntie with me at the time and I had to ask her what he meant as I could not understand him. The Judge or what ever he called himself was just as bad he looked down his nose at me to me at the time it looked to me that they had already made up their mind.When I had walked in the room with my walking cane(stick) and my very disabled Aunt, I felt very nervous as they were sat in a high seating block bit like being in a criminal court I was very stressed it frightened my Auntie and me left us both very stressed. I appealed again as we both found it hard to take all spoken comments etc, so I was sent to court again making sure that it would be dealt with people that I could hear and understand but all the same it never got passed, had to go through the same regime sent back to Jobcentre pushed into (WRAG). Then in between the Jobcentre they called me in on a Sat afternoon asking me if I was on the right benefit I said well what do you think I was walking heavily with my cane. They told me to apply for ESA . I’v been to an assessment every 10 months and has never passed I have always had to fight with a Mandatory Reconsideration some times and appeal forced to go to another tribunal never passed it goes on. Now’er days I am lucky after a Mandatory Reconsideration and they have taken it into consideration my claim.I was sent a letter the other week to tell me I had another assessment to attend that was for Oct 12 this month, the last one I had was in June 8th this year. That happens as I have to put a new claim in to get my money awhile im going through a mandatory reconsideration process if I dont they stop my money for 4-5 months. Struggling trying to survive. It is happening to the ill ,jobless, as you know the Disabled low paid workers the government are stripping all the benefits till there is none is very distressing for all of us. God Help Us Desperately Need Help.

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  3. “it’s understood they will visit Manchester, London, Bristol, as well as parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”
    “The deadline for evidence submissions to the UNCRPD is thought to be 31 October.”

    Could you please post a link regarding the above.

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      1. That’s understandable, especially in this case, though I think it would be better if the investigation was secret where no one in the country concerned would know about it until the investigation was over. the investigation is more likely to be already over.

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      2. But there are people and groups that have submissions of evidence that are crucial to the inquiry. As it happens, the govt have been very quiet about it.

        But we need people to contribute evidence, and organisations that represent and support disabled people.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know what you mean Kitty, I was just thinking about another way to do it for we know there are those who don’t like so don’t want an investigation, because of the obvious.

        Anyway lets hope that the UN gets all what they came for.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The government refused to meet with the housing Rapportuer regarding the inquiry into bedroom tax, and I deeply suspect they will refuse to meet with UN officials this time.

        I think most of those that needed to submit evidence have probably done so by now, which is a good thing. But there may be a few individuals and groups that have evidence to contribute that really matters.

        I’m fairly certain the welfare reforms fail to meet the standards of article 19, amongs other comventions, and I am also sure they fail to meet the standards of our own Equality Act.

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  4. i see Yorkshire and further north doesn’t get a look in yet again. beginning to think we don’t exist except in our own minds..yet these things are still going on here and we are still subject to the same things this govt puts everyone else through. .certainly don’t exist as far as the south is concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Some from the North East may well travel down to the North west or Scotland (I’ve done THAT before!) to meet the officials. But I also have faith that for those who can’t travel, organisations like DPAC and Black Triangle will cover the crucial issues that need to be raised – and they will certainly be there. I’ve already submitted a comprehensive account with evidence, most of the content has also been picked up by the large organisations 🙂

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