Watchdog’s barrister calls for legal right to independent living | DisabledGo News and Blog


Legal advice commissioned by the equality and human rights watchdog has called for disabled people to have a legal right to independent living.

The barrister was asked by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) last year to examine if there needed to be a right to independent living in law for disabled people, because of concerns that their right to choice and control over their lives was being “eroded”.

The lawyer has now concluded that there does need to be a legal right to independent living, although there are several options for how that could be achieved.

Now EHRC is consulting on which of those options it should recommend, and it is likely to publish its conclusions by the end of the year.

An EHRC spokesman told Disability News Service that the barrister’s advice contains “quite a few options” on “how such a right could work in practice”.

He said: “We are going to speak to a range of people involved and see if we can narrow down those options and will then come forward with a set of proposals.”

Although he said EHRC could not yet say that it agreed that there needed to be a legal right to independent living, he said its proposals would “take into account” the barrister’s advice.

Last autumn, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) called on the UK government to recognise disabled people’s legal right to independent living, one of the key demands disabled people and their organisations in the UK had made in their submissions to the committee .

has called for disabled people to have a legal right to independent living.

The barrister was asked by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) last year to examine if there needed to be a right to independent living in law for disabled people, because of concerns that their right to choice and control over their lives was being “eroded”.

The lawyer has now concluded that there does need to be a legal right to independent living, although there are several options for how that could be achieved.

Now EHRC is consulting on which of those options it should recommend, and it is likely to publish its conclusions by the end of the year.

An EHRC spokesman told Disability News Service that the barrister’s advice contains “quite a few options” on “how such a right could work in practice”.

He said: “We are going to speak to a range of people involved and see if we can narrow down those options and will then come forward with a set of proposals.”

Although he said EHRC could not yet say that it agreed that there needed to be a legal right to independent living, he said its proposals would “take into account” the barrister’s advice.

Last autumn, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) called on the UK government to recognise disabled people’s legal right to independent living, one of the key demands disabled people and their organisations in the UK had made in their submissions to the committee .

 

Source: Watchdog’s barrister calls for legal right to independent living | DisabledGo News and Blog

Theresa May’s DWP minister just stood up in parliament and whitewashed a ‘human catastrophe’


The UK in this is doing exactly what Trump is doing in the US and as in the case of Trump, the UK Government needs to listen and act accordingly for eventually, if not now they will be held to account, not only by the population of the UK but by the World for the distress, injury and complete lack of safeguarding for extremely vulnerable people in the UK.

TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference: UN convention ‘must become part of UK law’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled trade unionists have called UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPDthe TUC and unions across the country to campaign for the UN disability convention to be incorporated into UK law.

Disabled members of 22 unions, who were at the annual TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference in Bournemouth, voted unanimously for a motion calling for a national campaign on the issue.

The conference was held just a few months after the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) told a UK government delegation that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”.

The UN committee called on the UK last autumn to make more than 80 improvements to the ways its laws and policies affect disabled people’s human rights.

But delegates in Bournemouth heard that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was not legally binding in the UK, and so the government was free to continue breaching any of its articles.

David Chrimes, of the FDA union, which represents senior public servants and professionals, who proposed the motion, told the conference about his brother, Richard, whose case was featured by the BBC earlier this year.

Richard Chrimes has to crawl up and down his stairs several times a day – and crawl from his front door to his car – because there is not enough space to adapt his two-storey house to make it accessible for him or even to fit his wheelchair through the front door.

 

Source: TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference: UN convention ‘must become part of UK law’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disabled people’s stories are about to give parliament a much needed wake up call | The Canary


The real life stories of disabled people’s experiences of the UK welfare system are being brought to life in a play. But far from being a fringe performance, the cast is taking it to the heart of political decision making – parliament.

Igniting disability

Ignite Me Workshop Theatre was formed in August 2017. And now, it’s bringing its latest work, a play called Lives Like These to parliament on 1 May. The Canary caught up with the group’s artistic director, Bryony Jayne Meteyard, to discuss igniting parliament with some hard-hitting theatre.

The group came about, Meteyard said, because she saw the need for a “people’s theatre” in south west London. The aim of Ignite Me is, in her words, to “hold up a mirror to society and show the truth”. Disabled people in the UK are often portrayed in the press as ‘benefit scroungers’, or ‘living off people’s taxes’, so a theatre company dedicated to busting these myths is refreshing. Meteyard told The Canary:

Disabled people and full-time carers need to have a voice in the current political climate. Austerity is having a major detrimental effect on their lives and bullying, discrimination and marginalisation are still massive issues. Theatre is one way to make an impact.

Damning figures. Damning criticism.

Meteyard is correct when she says that disabled people’s lives have been detrimentally affected in recent years. They have been subjected to seven years of what TV show The Last Leg described as a “genocide” by the Conservative Party. Because since 2010, the Tories have cut:

  • The Independent Living Fund (ILF), which previously supported people with care packages. Since the government cut it, in some areas 88% of people have seen their care packages reduced by up to 50%.

 

Source: Disabled people’s stories are about to give parliament a much needed wake up call | The Canary

Mordaunt misleads MPs… again | DisabledGo News and Blog


The minister for disabled people has again misled MPs, after she claimed that the UK had “volunteered” to take part in a public UN examination which concluded that her government’s disability policies had caused a “human catastrophe”. Penny Mordaunt was responding to Labour’s new shadow minister for disabled people, Marsha de Cordova, who told the Commons this week that the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities had “condemned” the government’s progress on disability employment. De Cordova had asked Mordaunt if the government would respond to those concerns. The committee’s “concluding observations” report, in August, examined how the UK had implemented the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Among more than 80 recommendations for improvements – a record number for any country being examined by the committee – it was heavily critical of the UK government’s failure to take action to close the disability pay gap and the disability employment

Source: Mordaunt misleads MPs… again | DisabledGo News and Blog

Failed legal bid ‘shows UN was right to call for a right to independent living’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


The case of a man who lost his legal bid to reverse a drastic cut to his support package shows the United Nations was right to call on the UK government to introduce a legal right to independent living, say disabled campaigners. Luke Davey was seeking a judicial review of the decision of Oxfordshire County Council to cut his personal budget from £1,651 a week to just £950, following the closure of the Independent Living Fund in June 2015. But Davey’s claim was dismissed by a high court judge in February and that decision has now been confirmed by three court of appeal judges, although he could still seek to appeal to the Supreme Court. The court’s decision to dismiss Davey’s appeal came just 24 hours after a UN committee warned the UK was “going backwards” in respect to its independent living obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (see separate stories), and called on the UK government to introduce a legal right to independent living. The

Source: Failed legal bid ‘shows UN was right to call for a right to independent living’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

UN demands annual UK progress report on correcting ‘grave and systematic violations’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


A UN committee has told the UK government to produce an annual progress report on how it is implementing the recommendations of a damning inquiry that found it guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of key parts of the disability convention. The committee of disabled human rights experts concluded last November that the government had violated the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) under the articles on independent living, work and employment, and social protection. But the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities has now made clear that it is not satisfied with the way the UK has responded to that inquiry. In its “concluding observations” on the progress the UK has made across the entire convention, the committee said the government should co-operate closely with disabled people’s organisations on implementing the recommendations made by last November’s inquiry report. And it said the government should provide information to the committee

Source: UN demands annual UK progress report on correcting ‘grave and systematic violations’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

UK faces UN examination: Call for action over mental health detentions | DisabledGo News and Blog


The UK government has faced repeated, damning criticism from a UN committee of disabled human rights experts over its treatment of people in secure mental health settings. The criticism came during a two-day public examination in Geneva of the UK’s record in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Members of the committee raised concerns about the increase in the use of compulsory detention, the use of Tasers, and the “discriminatory and disproportionate” use of detention on people from Britain’s African Caribbean communities. Martin Babu Mwesigwa, a member of the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), said he had been told that members of the UK’s African Caribbean community were subject to “highly cohesive and illicit violence” when detained in mental health and other “custodial” institutions. Mwesigwa, himself from Uganda, pointed to a report by the UN’s committee on the elimination of racial discrimination, which

Source: UK faces UN examination: Call for action over mental health detentions | DisabledGo News and Blog

UK faces UN examination: DPOs ‘delighted’ with exposure of government’s failings – Black Triangle Campaign


Disabled people’s organisations who travelled to Geneva this week to help highlight the government’s continuing human rights violations have praised a UN committee of disabled experts for publicly exposing the UK’s failings.

Civil servants from eight UK government departments, and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, were grilled over two days about the UK’s record in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The two days ended with the chair of the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), Theresia Degener, telling the UK government that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe” (see separate story).

Another CRPD member, Stig Langvad, said members were “deeply concerned” by the government’s failure to implement the convention, and delivered a withering putdown, telling the UK delegation: “I could provide a long list of examples where the state party doesn’t live up to the convention. Unfortunately, the time is too limited.”

Among the DPOs that travelled to Geneva were representatives of Inclusion London, the Alliance for Inclusive Education, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Equal Lives, Black Triangle, Disability Rights UK, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales.

Source: UK faces UN examination: DPOs ‘delighted’ with exposure of government’s failings – Black Triangle Campaign