The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) has issued a scathing report criticising the UK Government’s treatment of disabled individuals.

The report, published on April 24, condemns the government for failing to address systemic violations of the human rights of disabled persons and for perpetuating inequality and discrimination.

Findings and Recommendations

The UNCRPD report highlights several key findings, including:

  • Failure to address violations: The committee concludes that the UK Government has not taken appropriate measures to address grave and systematic human rights violations against disabled individuals already reported in 206, nor has it eliminated the root causes of inequality and discrimination.
  • Devaluation and hostility: The report notes a pervasive framework and rhetoric that devalues disabled individuals, leading to hate speech and hostility. Welfare benefit reforms are criticised for perpetuating the notion that disabled individuals are undeserving and fraudulent, resulting in a hostile environment.
  • Tragic outcomes: Disturbingly, the evidence presented to the committee reveals a consistent theme of disabled individuals resorting to suicide due to denial of an adequate standard of living and social protection, in stark contradiction to established human rights principles.

In response to these findings, the also UNCRPD offers recommendations, including taking benefits-related deaths seriously, amending hate crime laws to protect disabled individuals, and ensuring that welfare benefits effectively support them. The committee calls for the creation of a consistent framework to implement and monitor the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the UK.

Calls for Action

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak has echoed the concerns raised by the UNCRPD report, calling on the government to take decisive action to address the root causes of inequality faced by disabled individuals.

“Being disabled should not mean you are consigned to a poor standard of living,” he said. “But this report from the UN paints a damning picture of life in the UK for disabled people after 14 years of Tory rule. Ministers must act on this report and eliminate the root causes of inequality.

“It is not right that millions of disabled workers are stuck in low-paid jobs and in-work poverty. And many do not get the accessibility and flexibility they need at work.”