Four human rights and equality watchdogs have been

first_imgFour human rights and equality watchdogs have been snubbed by the minister for disabled people after raising serious concerns about how her government dismissed a report that found it guilty of “grave or systematic” violations of the UN disability convention.The UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) said last month that the UK government had discriminated against disabled people across three key parts of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).But the government responded to the report by dismissing its conclusions and all 11 of its recommendations.Now the UK’s official independent mechanism (UKIM) for monitoring implementation of the convention – the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Scottish Human Rights Commission – has called on the UK government to “urgently reconsider” its response to the UN report.It has written to Penny Mordaunt (pictured), the minister for disabled people, to express its concerns about both the findings of the report, and the government’s response.But a DWP spokeswoman refused even to acknowledge the letter, after being asked for a comment by Disability News Service.Instead, the spokeswoman said that “everything the government has to say about the UN inquiry is contained in its comprehensive official response [to the CRPD report]”.In its analysis of the government’s response to the inquiry, UKIM says it has failed to show that it is giving “due regard to the need to promote the equality of disabled people or their broader human rights, when developing new law and policy”.It says in the letter: “We welcome the publication of the inquiry report, and we are concerned by its conclusion that the UK Government’s programme of social security reform since 2010 has resulted in grave or systematic violations of disabled people’s human rights.“Of even greater concern is the UK Government’s response, which suggests that it will not be taking action on any of the recommendations.”The letter calls on the government to reconsider its position in the light of the “continuing impact on disabled people’s lives”.The four commissions defend the way that CRPD researched the report, which they say was “robust and comprehensive” and “based on a rigorous review of the available evidence”.UKIM itself contributed “detailed evidence” to the committee for its report.This contrasts with comments made by work and pensions secretary Damian Green, who last month described the report as “patronising and offensive”.UKIM points out that “similar concerns” to those outlined by CRPD have been raised in previous reports by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and in a letter from the UN special rapporteurs on housing, disabilities, poverty and food.It calls on the government to “enhance the status” of the convention in UK law, and introduce a way to scrutinise policy and legislation to ensure it complies with UNCRPD.And it calls on the government – like many other organisations before, including grassroots organisations of disabled people such as the WOWcampaign and Pat’s Petition, and EHRC itself – to “urgently” carry out a “human rights-based” assessment of the cumulative impact on disabled people of all of the social security reforms brought in since the coalition took power in 2010.The four commissions also call on the UK government to take “urgent steps” to provide “sufficient independent living funding to each [local authority] to meet the needs of disabled people in their area”, following the closure of the Independent Living Fund.And they say the government should provide councils with guidance on how to fulfil their duties to meet the convention’s independent living duties, and ensure that every local authority can report on independent living funding in its own areas.The commissions also urge the UK government to commission independent research on the impact of its legal aid reforms on disabled people, and “take concrete steps to mitigate any adverse impacts identified”.Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, the grassroots network of disabled people that persuaded the UN to carry out its inquiry, welcomed the UKIM intervention.But she said: “DPAC tried working with EHRC in 2011 in an attempt to get them to challenge the government’s actions, which were eroding the rights of disabled people so badly.“Therefore we’re very pleased to see some action at last, even if it is five years too late.”Meanwhile, a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has found that – once account is taken of the higher costs faced by disabled people – half of people living in poverty are either disabled or are living with a disabled person in their household.The report says that there are 4.2 million disabled people in poverty, and 7.1 million people in poverty who are either disabled themselves or live in a household with a disabled person.Disability Rights UK said the JRF report was “a damning indictment of government policy towards disabled people”.last_img read more

A disability charity has refused to apologise for

first_imgA disability charity has refused to apologise for holding a fundraising comedy night in an inaccessible London venue.Action onHearing Loss (formerly known as RNID) was raising money as part of its DeafAwareness Week with an evening of stand-up at The Comedy Store in London.Performers included Angela Barnes, Samantha Baines, Ed Gamble, Eshaan Akbar, Russell Howard (all pictured, left to right) and John Bishop, three of whom have hearing loss themselves.But thevenue chosen by the charity is not accessible to many disabled people, with TheComedy Store warning on its website that it only has a “chair lift”which “cannot bear the weight of a person in a wheelchair”.This meansthat any wheelchair-user “must be able to leave their wheelchair, descend viathe chairlift, then retake their wheelchair once at the bottom of the stairs”,so “large electric wheelchairs are unable to gain access” to the auditorium.Alan Benson,a disabled campaigner and activist from London, said: “Funding is a challengefor everyone so events like this are very important, but it’s vital that we getthem right. “In asociety that routinely discriminates against disabled people we must make surethat we support each other and run fully inclusive events. “I know thatthose with hearing impairments routinely face barriers to participation so Iwould have hoped for better.”Benson, whouses an electric wheelchair himself, added: “London has many great accessiblevenues so there is no excuse not to use them. “By usingvenues like The Comedy Store, we validate their inadequate provision. “To justifythe event by saying it was accessible to some disabled people is simply notgood enough.”Whenquestioned about the inaccessible venue, Action on Hearing Loss (AHL) refusedto apologise or say why the event was held in a venue which was not accessiblefor many wheelchair-users. It alsorefused to say what kind of message that decision sent to wheelchair-users withhigh support needs, and whether it suggested that raising money and “awareness”of AHL’s work was more important than including people who use electricwheelchairs.But aspokesperson said in a statement: “At the launch of Deaf Awareness Week, it wasimportant that the charity gave people with deafness and hearing loss theopportunity to attend an iconic comedy venue that has played host to some ofthe most famous performers in the world. “To achievethis, the show was supported by BSL interpreters, live subtitling and a hearingloop. “But it wasnot just those with deafness and hearing loss who came to the show, people withvarious disabilities were also in attendance, including those usingwheelchairs. “We arecommitted to breaking down the barriers that prevent inclusivity for all and wewill continue to work with venues to help improve their accessibility.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

The best possible price to renew your Membership w

first_imgThe best possible price to renew your Membership will remain open until Wednesday October 31.Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Joseph Paulo and Joe Batchelor will be Saints in 2019 … will you?The quartet will join up with our established core of experienced players and young guns, alongside those who are looking to build on strong performances through 2018, next season.The likes of Matty Lees and Jack Ashworth have come to the fore this year and will look to kick on in 2019.Then you have six 2018 Dream Team members – Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, James Roby, Danny Richardson and Luke Thompson – who all came through the Saints Academy system.We’re Saints and Proud and we want you to continue the journey with us.We have again expanded your exclusive benefits and it will cover 14 home games in 2019.You can also make your Membership a simple monthly payment with our very popular Direct Debit plan. Each season lots of fans take advantage of this to pay for their Membership over ten months to spread the cost.Alternatively, you can also take up an eight or six month package later on in the off-season.For example a West Stand renewal for an adult would equate to just £25.06 per month.And an ‘adult and child’ in the Family Stand would be just £27.49 per month.Your Membership covers all Saints’ Betfred Super League home games and to discover Benefits, Prices and more here www.saintsrlfc.com/membershipsWe are Saints and Proud.#saintsandproud,The best possible price to renew your Membership will remain open until Wednesday October 31.Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Joseph Paulo and Joe Batchelor will be Saints in 2019 … will you?The quartet will join up with our established core of experienced players and young guns, alongside those who are looking to build on strong performances through 2018, next season.The likes of Matty Lees and Jack Ashworth have come to the fore this year and will look to kick on in 2019.Then you have six 2018 Dream Team members – Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, James Roby, Danny Richardson and Luke Thompson – who all came through the Saints Academy system.We’re Saints and Proud and we want you to continue the journey with us.,We have again expanded your exclusive benefits and it will cover 14 home games in 2019.You can also make your Membership a simple monthly payment with our very popular Direct Debit plan. Each season lots of fans take advantage of this to pay for their Membership over ten months to spread the cost.Alternatively, you can also take up an eight or six month package later on in the off-season.For example a West Stand renewal for an adult would equate to just £25.06 per month.And an ‘adult and child’ in the Family Stand would be just £27.49 per month.Your Membership covers all Saints’ Betfred Super League home games and to discover Benefits, Prices and more here www.saintsrlfc.com/membershipsWe are Saints and Proud.#saintsandproudlast_img read more