The UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled Persons and The DWP

By: A.C.

I think most disabled people who have been under the regime of the DWP in the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), will recognise since before 2010,  having  had their benefits cut, mobility vehicles taken away, and being generally demonised by the right –wing press and media.

Disabled people are still being attacked as fraudsters and thieves who are being subject to demeaning constant assessment in a heartless and uncaring system where “health care professionals” use discredited tick –box forms to make a judgement on a disabled person’s ability to work.  

So, the disabled will be very receptive and understanding of the report by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Disabled Persons (CRPD) as regards a complaint made against the UK Government by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

The BBC reports the statement of findings here.

Some of the findings reported at the BBC are:

  • “Disabled people were regularly portrayed negatively as “dependent or making a living out of benefits, committing fraud as benefit claimants, being lazy or putting a burden on taxpayers”
  • Sanctions for some Employment and Support Allowance claimants “increased significantly” from 2012-2014 and had been “disproportionately applied”
  • The so-called “bedroom tax” and social housing size criteria “failed to recognise the specific living arrangements” disabled people require
  • Assessments did not take into account the “support persons with disabilities need to perform a job or the complex nature of some impairments and conditions”
  • Some work schemes “had no visible impact in decreasing unemployment” among disabled people, and some who accessed other programmes experienced reductions in support or “loss of employment”.”

Other media reports include The Guardian;

“The recommendations of the Committee to the UK Government include this paragraph ;

1.d) “Ensure that public budgets take into account the rights of persons with disabilities, that sufficient budget allocations are made available to cover extra costs associated with living with a disability and that appropriate mitigation measures, with appropriate budget allocations, are in place for persons with disabilities affected by austerity measures”

The summary findings and recommendations are posted at DPAC, who, I am sure will have a lot to digest and comment on, in the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime you can read the paragraphs of observations and recommendations on this United Nations report here at the DPAC website.

Be aware though, recommendations, observations and condemnation in straightforward language do not mean enforcement, or the UK Government actually taking any notice of what the UN say.  The Government will probably answer to the UNCRPD, and that might the end of it.

The UK Government will assert that they comply with all UN Human Rights Law, and deny all violations as contained in the report.  The blatant truth though,  is that a Western ‘First World’ Country (the meaning of which you see here)is heavily criticised for its treatment of its disabled citizens in a way that might befit a regime that is much less developed.

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