This Commons Library briefing paper provides information on the inquiry by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into the impact of Government policies on the rights of disabled people since 2010.Jump to full report >>
At the end of August 2015, it was revealed in the national press that the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was to conduct an inquiry into the impact of the UK Government’s policies on the rights of disabled people.
The inquiry was conducted under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which the UK has been a signatory since 2007. The Optional Protocol allows the UN Committee to investigate a State Party if they have received reliable evidence of ‘grave and systematic violations of the Convention’. The UK is the first country to be investigated by the UN in relation to this Convention.
The Committee's report, published on 6 October 2016, found that Government reforms had led to ‘grave and systematic’ violations of the rights of disabled people. The report emphasises the impact of changes to Housing Benefit entitlement, eligibility criteria for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and social care, and the closure of the Independent Living Fund.
The Government published a robust response alongside the publication of the Committee’s report, stating that it “strongly disagrees” with the findings.
Like other UN human rights conventions, the CRPD does not contain any mechanism that allows the Committee to enforce its recommendations. As the Government’s response to the report rejected all the recommendations made, there are no more official steps in the process.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-7367
Authors: Antonia Jones; Wendy Wilson; Steven Kennedy; Tim Jarrett; Andy Powell
Topics: Benefits policy, Community care, Disability discrimination, Employment, Employment schemes, Equality, Housing benefits, Human rights, International law, Legal aid, Mental health, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits, United Nations, Working age benefits