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A newly released report led by Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPPOs) and allies has revealed that over the past five years there has been continued regression in the realisation of  disabled people’s rights across England.

Findings

The report from civil society organisations in England, including Just Fair, examines how well the UK Government is realising the rights in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD) and will be presented to the UN Committee which oversees the UNCRPD.

The report, which took evidence from over 40 organisations, found:

  • There has been continued regression in the rights of disabled people in England since the last public examination of the UK under the UNCRDP in 2017 
  • While the UK Government has adopted progressive initiatives in discrete areas, it has not addressed the fundamental issues affecting deaf and disabled people’s lives
  • The COVID-19 pandemic response discriminated against deaf and disabled people and violated their equal right to life
  • Disability, equality and human rights approaches towards disability have been further undermined since 2017
  • There is insufficient monitoring and promotion of the human rights of deaf and disabled people by the UK Government

Our evidence

In November 2021 we submitted evidence for the report along with our allies in Better Connected, the Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) and Difference North East on key areas that  impacted upon the realisations of rights of deaf and disabled people. These were:

  • The absence of the full implementation of the Equality Act 2010, in particular, Section 1, the socio-economic duty in England
  • The accelerated use of online services during the COVID-19 pandemic and the rights of disabled people
  • UK Government plans regarding the ‘overhauling’ of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA)
  • The impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union on the human rights and equalities enjoyed by disabled people in the UK.

This important civil society report puts disability rights in the spotlight.

What next?

The report will be sent to the UN Committee who will consider it along with other evidence and produce recommendations to the UK Government on what it must do to better realise rights.

It is up to all of us, as individuals and organisations, to put pressure on the UK Government to ensure they reverse the trend of regression, and as we build back from the pandemic, ensure that all deaf and disabled people are able to enjoy the full breadth of human rights.

Image by Alexandra Ramirez.

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