DPAC triggers UN inquiry into grave and systematic violations of disabled peopleís rights News
For Immediate Release
DPAC triggers UN inquiry into grave and systematic violations of disabled peopleís rights
The UN Inquiry and UN visit to UK to examine the grave and systematic violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was initiated by DPAC.
This inquiry is the first of its kind-it has great historic importance. It means the UN will examine the vicious and punitive attacks on disabled peopleís independent living as well as the cuts which have seen so many placed in inhuman circumstances and has led to unnecessary deaths.
In May 2013, after 3 years of onslaught against disabled people by the Condem government, DPAC made a formal submission under the CRPD Optional Protocol which establishes an individual complaints mechanism for the Convention.
There was less information and statistics than now on the impact of the Welfare Reform and loss of a right to independent living on disabled people. However the evidence DPAC presented to the CRPD Committee was extremely strong
DPACís evidence presented the regression of disabled peopleís convention rights and the grave and systematic violations of disabled peopleís rights under the UNCRPD. It was accepted by the UNCRPD Committee.
After an initial response from the government responding point by point to the DPAC submission, DPAC made a second submission, supported by further evidence of the disproportionate impact of all cuts on disabled people.
This submission, as the first one, included,
the failings of the Work Capability Assessment,
the bedroom tax,
the closure of the Independent Living Fund
the unwillingness of the government to make an assessment of the cumulative impact of the Welfare Reform on disabled people
its reluctance to monitor what was happening to disabled people who were found fit for work after an assessment and who lost their only means of support (see complete list)i,.
This submission was partly based on firmly sourced statistical and other factual evidence, and also on the hundreds of personal testimonies that DPAC has received from individuals who have been affected adversely by the governmentsí welfare reforms.
The UK government sent a second response to the UN about DPACís submission but by then the CRPD Committee had decided that there was enough evidence to open an inquiry into the violations of disabled peopleís rights by the UK government.
The Committee also told DPAC that the inquiry was totally confidential and could be jeopardised and called off if any News
of an UN inquiry was leaked.
It was the indiscretion of an ex-member of the CRPD Committee which brought the inquiry into the open, but DPAC kept its side of the non-disclosure agreement. The further leak in newspapers on Sunday 30th August convinced us that disabled people needed to know the full extent of the process
This inquiry is an unprecedented move and unchartered territory for the UNCRPD Committee.
It is also another route of hope for disabled people who have been abused by the UK government, ignored by most of the opposition and betrayed by the big Disability Charities.
About Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC)
DPAC is a grass roots campaign body. It was formed by a group of disabled people after the first mass protest against the austerity cuts and their impact on disabled people held on the 3rd October in Birmingham 2010, England. It was led by disabled people under the name of The Disabled Peoplesí Protest. DPAC has over 20,000 members & supporters and an outreach of over 45,000 disabled people. DPAC works with many anti-cuts groups, Universities, Disabled Peoplesí Organizations, and Unions www.dpac.uk.net
1) the UNCRPD Optional Protocol
2) the full list of issues sent to the UNCRPD Committee as part of the complaint by DPAC:
Scrapping of Incapacity Benefit
1% cap on benefit rises
Time limitation of WRAG
Freezing child benefit
Overall benefit Cap:
Introduction of Personal Independent Payment
Abolition of Independent living Fund
Change to Local Housing Allowance
Uprating and cuts to Tax Credits
Localisation and 10% cut for Council Tax Benefit
1% cap on various benefits and tax credits
Work programme and disabled people
Benefit cap in London
Spare room surplus
Other changes to Housing Benefits
Discretionary Housing Payments
Abolition of Council Tax Benefit
Sanctions and workfare
Hardship Payments, Budgeting
Hardship Payments, Budgeting Loans and Short Term advances
Change from Disability Living Allowance
Employment Support Allowance
Tribunal support for appeals for ESA , DLA and PIP
Loss of right to appeal and Mandatory Re-considerations
Legal Aid Cuts
Social care crisis
Abuse in care
Workfare and benefit sanctions
National Rail Services
Buses and coaches
University disability access
Changes to Special Educational Needs (SEN) services