It’s often said that the mark of a civilised society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens in times of austerity. And in the past week, Britain has had not one but two damning judgments – the first from a committee room in Geneva, the second in a courtroom in London.
Last Thursday a United Nations inquiry into disability rights in the UK ruled that the government is failing in its duties in everything from education, work and housing to health, transport and social security. Presented with overwhelming evidence of a range of regressive policies and multibillion-pound cuts to disability services, it described the treatment of disabled people in this country as a “human catastrophe”.
The actual report is about whether we’re up to the standards of the 2007 Convention:
The UK government is failing to uphold disabled people’s rights across a range of areas from education, work and housing to health, transport and social security, a UN inquiry has found.
The UN committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities examined the government’s progress in fulfilling its commitments to the UN convention on disabled people’s rights, to which the UK has been a signatory since 2007.
Its report concludes that the UK has not done enough to ensure the convention – which enshrines the rights of disabled people to live independently, to work and to enjoy social protection without discrimination – is reflected in UK law and policy.