Evidence to UN for review of Human Rights

Deaf and Disabled people’s UN rights have regressed. Our standard of living has dropped due to welfare reforms. Read our evidence…

Inclusion London provided evidence to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights of the United Kingdom.

We raised a number of key issues regarding Deaf and Disabled people’s rights, which included:

Public Sector Equality Duties/Specific Duties:

The Equality Act 2010 has weakened the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), particularly the Specific Duties, compared to the Disability Discrimination Act, (DDA), which it replaced. This reform of the law is retrogressive for the equality of Disabled people.

Lack of reasonable adjustments:

The Equality Act requires reasonable adjustments to ensure Disabled people are not put at a substantial disadvantage;  yet many organisations including public bodies, fail to do this.

Rise in disability hate crime:

Since 2010 the government has made frequent references to welfare benefit fraud and abuse, which the media have reported, yet fraud regarding Disabled people’s benefits is very low.

Disabled people’s ‘equal in dignity and rights’ under Article 1 UNDHR and ‘honour and reputation’ under Article 12 UNDHR and rights under Article 16 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)[i]are regressing.

Disability hate crime law:

Disabled people lack equality before the law – DHC does not have parity in law with other hate crime strands, breaching Article 7.  Laws covering areas such as racially or religiously aggravated offences  should also cover DHC.

Impact of LASPO Act 2012:

Legal aid is provided by government to help meet the costs of legal advice and representation in a court or tribunal. However, the LASPO Act 2012, introduced changes so legal aid is harder to access for Disabled people regarding discrimination cases.


Nearly half (49%) of Disabled people in the UK are employed compared with 76.7% for non-disabled people, an employment gap of 30.1 percentage points. The gap has been static for many years.

There has been a regression in Disabled people’s rights under Article 7 UNDHR:  Disabled people are not ‘equal before the law’ and not have ‘equal protection against any discrimination’ and also regression in Article 13 UNCRPD.

Welfare Reform:

Due to welfare benefit reforms and cuts in social care and support Disabled people are experiencing a marked regression in rights to:

  • A standard of living adequate for the health and well-being under Article 25 UNDHR
  • Freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts under Article 27 UNDHR
  • Economic, social and cultural rights under Article 22 UNDHR
  • Articles 19, 28 and 30 UNCRPD.


The full evidence to the UN is available to download below, also in Easy Read. 

There was a maximum of 2815 words so not all issues could be covered in the evidence.

[i] UNCRPD = UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:  https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html