Disability Wales takes evidence to UN
Disability Wales and Disabled People’s Organisations from across the UK join forces in Geneva today to meet with the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People.
During the first ever investigation of the UK Government’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, we will be providing evidence of systemic failure to support disabled people to live independently and to have access to social, educational and employment opportunities.
This is the first time the Committee will review a State that it has previously had under Inquiry for violating the Convention.
Rhian Davies, Chief Executive of Disability Wales says: “Disabled people are being failed by the UK Government and we will not be quiet whilst our rights continue to be violated.
Not only have the UK Government been dismissive of rights violations noted by the Inquiry, they have continued to progress policies and cuts that attack the rights and lives of disabled people and their families. We will continue to hold our Governments to account and put pressure on public institutions to value and uphold the rights of disabled people in Wales.”
In a closed three hour session with the Committee, DPOs will be identifying issues that have the most severe impact on disabled people in the UK. We will request that the Committee ask questions of the UK and Welsh Governments on actions they will take to progress the rights, access and inclusion of disabled people in all areas of their lives.
Returning from Geneva, Disability Wales will launch the Wales report on 15th March at the Cross Party Working Group on Disability.
The three key messages from Wales:
- To strengthen the Framework for Action on Independent Living by ensuring greater local accountability for delivering the Framework to enable genuine choice and inclusion in all areas of life, including employment.
- Ensure that upcoming infrastructure projects are fully inclusive in creating an accessible Wales, from transport to provision of information and services and access to the built environment.
- To address the barriers in accessing justice by improving provision of advice, advocacy and specialist legal representation.
Wendy Ashton, Chair of Disability Wales said, “It is important that disabled people realise that we do have a voice and are using this process to make the world aware of how we are being failed in the UK.
In Wales, devolution provides the opportunity to do things differently and we will continue to work closely with Welsh Government to press for implementation of our calls for action. We must make sure that a human rights based approach identifies and meets the needs of disabled people living in Wales and call upon Welsh Government to support us as we fight for a better future for all disabled people.”
Notes to editors:
- Disability Wales is the national association of disabled people’s organisations in Wales championing the rights, equality and independence of all disabled people.
- The UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People Examination during 2017 will assess what steps the UK has taken to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People following ratification of it in 2009. The Committee is a body of experts, nominated and elected by governments, the majority of whom are disabled people.
- The committee postponed its assessment of the UK (originally due in 2015) to investigate a complaint of the violation of disabled people’s rights as a result of welfare reform. This was brought under the optional protocol of the Convention. The findings expressed concern of grave and systemic violations of disabled people’s human rights. That investigation looked only at a part of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People – with a particular focus on the impact of austerity measures and welfare reform. The current report looks at a much wider set of issues, including our laws on mental health and mental capacity, policies on employment and education and more.
- The UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People will produce a List of Issues that it considers to be a priority for the Government. The Government will have three months to consult and respond and there will be further opportunity for disabled people to provide evidence.
- During August the examination of the UK Government will take place, with the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People producing their concluding report in the Autumn of 2017.
- Disability Wales will launch their Wales report at the Cross Party Working Group on Disability at the Senedd on Wednesday 15th March, upon return from Geneva. Copies of the report and executive summary will be available on the day.
- For media enquiries, please contact:
Natasha Hirst on 029 2088 87325 or via Natasha.firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter and facebook @DisabilityWales