UN investigators will be told that Westminster austerity is devastating the disabled
A bombshell new report alleges that disabled people are having their human rights violated by the UK government.
It shows the devastating impact Westminster’s austerity agenda is having – and has been published just as a United Nations (UN) committee is due to investigate alleged abuses.
The findings are contained in a report by Inclusion Scotland, working with colleagues in England and Wales, on how disabled people’s rights are being met.
It concludes that there is evidence that the UK government is breaching its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
It will be sent to the UN investigating committee and Inclusion Scotland hopes it will form part of the evidence when the inquiry is held later this year.
The charity wants the UK government held to account – and has warned the Scottish Government that it must also act on its disabled human rights pledges.
In particular, the report says that over half of the £23 billion worth of welfare cuts carried out by the Tories have fallen on disabled people.
Failure to provide adequate housing is also identified as a breach – somethingTFN has revealed is subject to another human rights probe.
Dr Sally Witcher, chief executive of Inclusion Scotland, said: “Our report shows that Scottish disabled people still have inaccessible homes, work environments and transport; that we continue to wait months to receive important information in accessible formats; and that hate crime continues to be an everyday experience for many disabled people living in Scotland.
“For too long disabled people have been singled out for cuts. UK government austerity measures have undermined our human rights in the most devastating ways. No longer can we take even the most basic of support for granted.”
She said that in contrast to the UK government’s apparent dismissal of disabled people’s human rights, the Scottish Government’s recently published delivery plan provides “some cause for hope”.
Witcher said: “The challenge now is to deliver on those commitments.”
Westminster signed up to the UNCRPD in 2009 and has already been accused by the committee of violating the convention.
Following an inquiry into the impact of welfare reforms on disabled people’s rights, a damning report published in October last year found that reforms had led to “grave and systemic violations”.
The UK government responded by dismissing the findings and refusing to implement the committee’s recommendations.
A spokesman said: "As a strong parliamentary democracy, where the voices and opinions of disabled people are represented and listened to, the UK is a place where disabled people's rights are respected, promoted and upheld.”