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As part of our project supporting civil society to be part of the upcoming UN human rights review of the UK, and in response to our call for evidence, we received an impressive 74 submissions on a range of issues from civil society groups and individuals.

There is now only two months to go until the publication of our report and its submission to the United Nations. In the lead up, we are sharing some key highlights of the evidence we received. 

Last month we looked at how Black people and people of colour experience violations of their rights. Now to mark UK Disability History Month, we are turning attention to the ways in which disabled people face violations of their economic, social and cultural rights. For example:

Poverty: Multiple groups submitted information on the disproportionate ways in which disabled people were impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. Disabled people  disproportionately experience high levels of poverty and make up over half of foodbank users. Disability UK highlighted that energy costs are often much higher for disabled people because they may need to run the heating more (to cope with lower mobility or prevent severe illness) and to charge essential medical and  mobility equipment, not to mention multiple daily uses of washing machines and showers.  Research by SCOPE found that the average disabled person already must spend £583 per month more than a non-disabled person to achieve the same standard of living. 

Health: Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) submitted information based on a recent survey, the largest of its kind in the UK. They found that over two-thirds of respondents felt that their physical healthcare needs were not being fully met. In addition, 45% of the disabled people who responded to the survey identified  different factors that had stopped them getting support with their mental health.  People overwhelmingly reported  being put off by waiting lists or being left in limbo waiting for the right help.

The situation in Wales is also inadequate with a Disability Wales survey of disabled people in 2020  finding that 68% of respondents did not feel that their rights were being adequately enforced, and 35% of respondents did not feel their rights were being enforced at all.

Following austerity, Covid-19, and now the cost-of-living crisis, the evidence we received highlighted that disabled people are experiencing disproportionately high violations of their rights and a diminishing quality of life. We will be using this evidence  to hold the UK and Welsh Governments accountable on their international human rights obligations.

Learn more about the project here.

Image by Erikas