Daily Left News

A coalition of human rights organisations have written to the Prime Minister to condemn the UK government’s treatment of disabled people and its ‘ongoing assault on disabled people’s rights’. 

Activists, migrant rights and anti-racism organisations are among the 25 groups who have written to Rishi Sunak blasting the Tory Party’s failure to address its violations of human rights laws and its harmful proposals for welfare reform. 

In the letter, the government is accused of negligence to public service funding as well as placing additional barriers on already marginalised communities, citing ministers’ recent plans to update the NHS Constitution

The letter references the United Nations report published in April which concluded that the UK Government had, “failed to take all appropriate measures to address grave and systematic violations of the human rights of persons with disabilities”, despite having eight years since the UN’s last investigation which first highlighted these violations. 

Not only had no appropriate measures been taken to address disabled people’s human rights but there were ‘signs of regression’, the UN report found. However later that month the government announced plans to further curb disability welfare, which at the time charities called “an assault on disabled people” as they argued it would only “increase stigma and harm”. 

Claims by Tory ministers that Britain has a ‘sick note culture’ and that accessing social security had become a ‘lifestyle choice’ was also slammed as “harmful misinformation” in the letter.

Part of the letter states: “We were also appalled to see the details of your “Modernising support for independent living: the health and disability green paper”, which undermines the very principle of an extra cost benefit for Disabled people.

“You cannot scare people into good health, and you cannot force people into inaccessible jobs.”

The letter also cited a “disturbing” link between harmful policies and increased suicide among disabled benefit claimants, and called for a benefit-related deaths inquiry and investigation, accusing the government of continuing to” hide the details of this dangerous negligence”.

The letter also says: “The difficulties we face in this country are not because people in small boats seek sanctuary in the UK or people use the welfare state. We are in this position because of your Government’s complete disregard for international law and contempt for human rights.”

The organisations urged the government to ‘work with us’ to build a ‘radical and transformational disability strategy’ and to bring in appropriate measures to tackle inequality and discrimination. 

Organisations who signed the letter are: 

Greater Manchester of Disabled People, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Choices and Rights Disability Coalition, Disabled Peoples Action Group – Bradford and District, Liberty, Disability Positive, Wheels for Wellbeing, William Gomes, Director, The William Gomes Podcast, Reclaim the Agenda, Mental Health Independent Support Team, Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living, Care Rights UK, Face Equality International, Rochdale and District Disability Action Group, Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group, Lee Starr-Elliott CWU Disability lead SW region and Deaf DPAC founder, Equity Trade Union, Disability Assist, Legal Action for Women, Global Women Against Deportations, Institute of Race Relations, Civil Society Alliance, WECIL, Inclusion London and REAL.

Read the full letter here

(Image credit: Simon Dawson / Number 10 – Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

The post 25 groups condemn Tory Party’s ‘onslaught of attacks’ on disabled people’s rights appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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