Grave and systematic violations – our UN Inquiry briefing

In November the UN published a report which found evidence of grave and systematic violations of Disabled people’s rights by the UK government due to welfare reform. We are holding a briefing event in Parliament for MPs and members of the House of Lords to look at what they can do to hold the Government to account.

Quote: "There is reliable evidence that the threshold of grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities has been met." UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Inquiry concerning the United Kingdom, November 2016

At the end of last year the United Nations published a report which found evidence of grave and systematic violations of Disabled people’s rights by the UK government due to welfare reform. The report was published in the same week as the US presidential elections and for a finding of this magnitude received too little media attention. The government rejected all of the UN findings and there are no plans to discuss the report in Parliament.

Read the UN CRPD Inquiry Report here.

Read the UK’s response document here.

In order to raise awareness about the report and to discuss next steps, Disabled People Against Cuts and Inclusion London are holding a briefing event in Parliament for MPs and members of the House of Lords to look at what they can do to hold the Government to account over the UN inquiry.

We would urge you to invite your local MPs to this event and to encourage your members to do the same. Please forward any responses you received from your MPs to us.

There are also a limited number of places available for DDPO representatives to attend. For more information contact ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.org.uk.

Grave and systematic violations – What next after the UN disability inquiry? Briefing and Discussion

Moved to Committee Room 12, Houses of Parliament

2.30 – 3.45pm Tuesday 24th January 2017

Chaired by Baroness Deech with speakers: Louise Whitfield, Disability Justice Project solicitor; Rachel Fox/Andrea Murray, Equality and Human Rights Commission; Linda Burnip, Disabled People Against Cuts; Tracey Lazard, Inclusion London;  Koldo Casla/Jamie Burton, Just Fair; Debbie Abrahams, shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; Jonathan Bartley, co-leader The Green Party; Cori Wilson, SNP; Heidi Allen, Conservative Party (tbc).

More about the report

On 7 November 2016 the United Nations published the findings from a UK inquiry carried out by their disability committee under Article 6 of the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The inquiry was triggered by extensive evidence submitted to the UN over a number of years by ordinary people concerned by the impact of UK government policy on Disabled people. It is the first time a state has ever been investigated in this way and the UK is now the first state in the world of whom the UN has found reliable evidence of grave and systematic violations of Disabled people’s rights.

The inquiry report was published alongside the UK government response to the findings, rejecting all eleven of the UN recommendations.

Critics of the inquiry point to discrimination and the terrible living conditions to which Disabled people in other parts of the world are subject. However, by ratifying the CRPD, the UK government signed up to the progressive realisation of social and economic rights. The UN inquiry investigated and found evidence of systematic and serious retrogression of Disabled people’s rights due to welfare reform. This supports concerns raised separately by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the UN Special Rapporteurs on Housing, Disabilities, Poverty and Food.

This meeting will provide a brief introduction to what the CRPD is, the inquiry process and how it was triggered and provide an over-view of the report, its recommendations and the government response. We will hear from Disabled people and their families who gave evidence to the inquiry and look at the question of what happens next.

For more information or to RSVP please contact: ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.org.uk