'Human Catastrophe' Of Disabled In The UK Not Protected By Domestic Law
Despite the claims that the UK abides by the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which it signed up to in 1976, and specifically the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which it was one of the first countries to sign up to in 2007; UK courts cannot impose the rights of disabled people under the Covenant (ICESCR). Without this, signing up to the Covenant is almost meaningless when it comes to the disabled UK citizens being able to seek redress in our courts.
The UN's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2016 asked the UK government to explain why this was not the case and when it will incorporate the full terms of the Covenant into domestic law, in addition to a whole range of other requests covering major aspects of the Covenant on Disabled people's rights.
The UN's report, 'Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' says this on the incorporation into domestic law and that there are negative effects on UK's disabled people by having not done so:
'While the Committee takes note of the State party’s views on the incorporation of the Covenant rights into the domestic legislation, the Committee regrets that the Covenant rights cannot be applied directly by domestic courts, which may restrict access to effective legal remedies for violations of Covenant rights.'
This was the government response that prompted the above comment by the UN:
'The UKG does not consider that the ICESCR contains a legal obligation to
In short the British Government for reasons clear to most observers given their attacks on the welfare of the disabled; refuse to give disabled people in the UK the full protection afforded by the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the body of independent experts which monitors implementation of the Convention by the States Parties.
The CRPD, last month, condemned the UK government for creating 'A human catastrophe' by neglecting the rights of the disabled as a result the cuts that have been made to social services and disabled welfare payments.
But the EU referendum result in June of 2016 has thrown into the mix further anxiety from the UN in addition to that already created when the Tory governments of Cameron declared that it intended to scrap the UK's Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a bill of rights.
Both these two events will greatly impact on the UK's abiding to the principlces of both the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In fact, The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has aksed the UK government to explain how these two events, leaving the EU and abolishing the 1998 Human Rights legislation will impact on the ability of the UK to protect the rights of disabled people. The replies from the UK govenment on this issue has been equivical and blandly without detail to say the least.
On 24th August 2017 The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded its consideration of the initial report of the United Kingdom on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
One of the most damning comments about the attitude of denial of the UK government as to the true effects of its policies on disabled people, came from the report of the proceedings - Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reviews report of the United Kingdom:
'Stig Langvad, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the United Kingdom, who said that this dialogue was the most challenging exercise in the history of the Committee and that it demonstrated differing perceptions of the implementation of human rights in the State party.
The full documented report into the UK government's failure to abide by the Convention, and the true experiences of disabled people in the UK released on 29th August is some 17 pages long and contains some 71 recommendations of action needed by the UK government
Widely reported in both print and TV news media, both Channel Four and ITV news outlets on commercial TV have reported on this issue in some detail.
But of course the DWP stance was overtly defiant, arrogant and again totally rejecting of the reality of human suffering their policies are inflicting upon the disabled in the UK.
In claiming the UN CRPD report does not accurately reflect the evidence, they do so simply because the CRPD does not agree with them and that the UN body concluded that the evidence did not actually support the UK government's attitudes and claims.
All of the relevant documents pertaining to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can be downloaded from the UN website here
You can download the relevant UN reports mentioned in this article from this website here:
List of issues in relation to the sixth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Source: UN / ITV / Channel 4 News / The Guardian / The Telegraph