CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
In 2009 the Labour Government ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD is an international treaty consisting of 50 articles covering disabled peoples human rights across of areas of their lives. (for the whole list http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/ConventionRightsPersonsWithDisabilities.aspx)
Article 19 outlines the standards Governments are required to comply with around promoting disabled peoples human rights to independent living. The core principles are around the Government’s role in facilitating and providing support services which promote disabled people’s choice and control over their lives and who and where they live with and full inclusion and participation in their local community an equal basis to their non-disabled peers.
During August, the CRPD Committee scrutinize the progress that the UK Government is making with implementing and upholding of disabled peoples human rights. The committee pulled no punches when it came to writing up their general observations highlighting numerous and systematic breaches of the CRPD within a seventeen page document. The committee raised concerns of the Government’s systematic failure to implement legislation and policy that would uphold disabled peoples human rights to independent living under CRPD Article 19.
Policies and measures that affect the ability to live independently in the community, such as the lowering and weakening disabled peoples social protection schemes related to housing, household incomes and budgets for independent living and the closure of independent living.
The transfer of the Government’s national independent living fund responsibilities to the local authorities to facilitate disabled peoples independence without providing adequate and earmarked budget allocations.
Many disabled people are still institutionalised and deprived of their right to live independently and being included in their communities when they lack sufficient financial resources to pay for their own personal assistance, LA decide to pay for personal assistance in a care home setting and that the cost of care is the main tenant of personal care assessments.
The lack of support services (including personal assistance for all disabled people) and accessible public facilities to facilitate disabled peoples inclusion within their local communities.
The CRPD recommends the UK Government to do the following:
Have legislation, regulations and policies in place upholding disabled peoples human rights to independent living that complies with Article 19.
Provide adequate and sufficient ring-fenced funding and strategies in place to support disabled people’s rights to independent living that includes their right to choose their place of residence and where and with whom to live with.
Work with disabled peoples lead organisations to develop a comprehensive plan with the aim of deinstitutionalisation of disabled people and develop community based independent living schemes through a holistic and cross-cutting approach, including education, childcare, transport, housing, employment and social security and
Allocate sufficient resources to ensure that support services are available, affordable, acceptable and adaptable sensitive to different living conditions for all disabled people.
For a copy of the CRPD Committee’s Concluding observations including full recommendations see following link:
Furthermore, CRPD Committee have taken a very unusual step by requiring UK Government to submit yearly progress reports on implementing of three articles including article 19 together with a full scrutiny in three years-time.
Whilst there is no legal obligation for the Government to accept and implementation CRPD Committee’s recommendations, nevertheless disabled people and their organisations alongside other human rights organisations such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission are using the damning assessment of Government’s record on disabled people’s human rights to mount political pressure to force through change.
The UK CRPD Monitoring Coalition of Deaf and Disabled People is a DPO lead coalition that will be tasked with monitoring Government’s progress in promoting disabled peoples human rights.
The coalition once formally established will want to know what is happening from you around the situations you are finding yourselves in around securing independent living assistance.
Please contact Tracey Lazard via Inclusion London firstname.lastname@example.org 0207-237-3181