UN Committee finds disabled people disproportionately affected by benefits reforms

Credit sanjitbakshi, CC 2.0

An inquiry by the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled Persons concluded that changes to housing benefits and criteria for parts of the Personal Independence Payment, along with a narrowing of social care criteria and the closure of the Independent Living Fund, all “hindered disabled people’s right to live independently and be included in the community”. The committee made 11 recommendations to the UK government, including calling for a complete impact assessment of reforms introduced since 2010, and introducing measures to fight “negative and discriminatory stereotypes”.  However the UK Government has rejected the inquiry’s findings.

The Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has welcomed the findings of the inquiry and considered the committee’s Inquiry process to have been robust, comprehensive and based on a systematic review of the evidence available. It has now called on the UK government to act urgently on each of the committee’s recommendations.
The SHRC added: “We will monitor the Convention’s implementation in Scotland……The committee’s findings underscore the importance of taking a rights-based approach to policy-making. As the Scottish Government and Parliament considers how to utilise new devolved powers in relation to social security, the commission draws attention to the need to embed human rights into any new laws, policies and practices.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37899305

And http://www.scottishhumanrights.com/news/response-to-the-inquiry-by-the-united-nations-committee-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/

 

Photo credit sanjitbakshi CC. 2.0