‘One in five ‘Britons’ [living in England?] with disabilities have their rights violated, UN told’


The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities report on the extent to which the UK government complies with its convention was published on 31st August 2018. It condemns them thoroughly (see below for detail).

Yesterday, five weeks later, in the Guardian, we read headlined:

‘Exclusive: EHRC report reveals half of disabled people in the UK feel excluded from society’

and then:

‘One in five British people are suffering erosion of their rights because they are disabled, the government-backed Equality and Human Rights Commission has said in a damning report to the United Nations. The body cites “deeply concerning” evidence that despite government pledges to improve conditions for the nearly 14 million disabled Britons, their situation is getting worse across the UK.’


I can’t find the EHRC report online as yet, so I can’t establish whether it includes an EHRC: Scotland section or whether the Guardian report (and the EHRC report?) does the usual conflation of England with UK and British

I can, however, refer back to the UN assessment, at the end of August, triggering the EHRC response which had particular comments to make regarding Scotland. The only positive comments are reserved entirely for the actions of the Scottish Government:

  • Repeatedly calling for the UK Government’s Personal Independent Payment regulations to be repealed and for a review of the Employment and Support Allowance conditionality and sanction regimes
  • Engaging with disabled people and the organisations representing them when devising policies and legislation which impact upon their lives – specifically in building the new social security system and in compiling our national plan to implement the Convention’s principles
  • Adoption of the Accessible Travel Framework and the work underway to make transport systems in Scotland more open and accessible 
  • Following the passing of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 the Scottish Government will publish its first National Plan for British Sign Language in October

We can add to this the Scottish Government allocation of £2.5 million to 13 projects across Scotland designed to ‘improve employment support’ by ‘linking with health and social care, justice and housing services.’ For more, see:

Scottish Government continues to show that it takes its responsibilities to care for its people seriously unlike its callous self-centred Tory neighbours

With regard to the UK Government, the UN called for these actions:

  • The UK Government’s Personal Independent Payment regulations should be repealed and there should be a review of the Employment and Support Allowance conditionality and sanction regimes
  • The UK Government must do more to engage with disabled people and the organisations representing them when devising policies and legislation which impact upon their lives

Evidence that these actions are desperately needed in England can be found in reports like this from the Guardian in May this year:

‘Pushing people to the brink of suicide: the reality of benefit assessments’


and this from the Huffington Post in July:

‘Almost 600 Suicides Could Be Related to DWP Work Assessments, Claims New Research’


Don’t read them if you’re feeling at all down. I can only find one cased of attempted suicide by a disabled person in Scotland explicitly linked to DWP assessment. My search was for obvious reasons not too determined, so I may not have found everything there.




Another little difference that tells us something: SNP to improve disability terms for terminally ill.

In the wake of the UN praise for Scotland’s approach to disability rights, NHS Scotland announces traineeships for disabled graduates

UN condemns UK Government’s ‘human catastrophe’ on disability rights but praises Scottish Government’s actions



11 thoughts on “‘One in five ‘Britons’ [living in England?] with disabilities have their rights violated, UN told’

  1. JSM October 8, 2018 / 9:35 am

    Disability benefits are still under Westminster so it probably includes Scotland.


    • johnrobertson834 October 8, 2018 / 10:29 am

      Yes but the report is about much more than just benefit payments and the EHRC report should have a Scottish, Welsh and NI section.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry October 8, 2018 / 12:02 pm

    Meanwhile: (from Press Gazette):

    Former foreign sec Boris Johnson paid £275,000 for ten hours a month writing Telegraph column.

    Ex Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was re-employed by the Daily Telegraph after resigning from the Cabinet in July, receives an annual salary of £275,000 for his weekly column with the paper.

    According to the latest Register of Members’ Financial Interests, published this month, Johnson spends ten hours a month writing his 1,100-word column for the right-leaning newspaper.

    He is paid £22,916.66 per month, or £2,291.66 an hour.

    Can we please call ‘time’ on this political union?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. William Henderson October 8, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    After a lot of searching I found this report which dates from 2017:


    It may or may not be the one referred by the Guardian. It is a huge report and seriously critical of the UK performance on disability rights.

    However, Section II – “Positive aspects” has two subparagraphs, the first about the uk government’s withdrawal of an objection. The second states the following:

    “5.The Committee welcomes the information about the adoption of legislative and policy measures that develop different aspects of the Convention and in the design of which organizations of persons with disabilities were involved, such as the national plan of action to implement the Convention launched in 2016 in Scotland, and the Scottish social security system. It also welcomes the adoption in 2016 of the Accessible Travel Framework in Scotland, which includes provisions on accessibility for persons with disabilities, and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, which provides a framework for social services and health.”

    This is the only positive part I could find in a rather hurried scan of the whole report.


  4. gavin October 8, 2018 / 7:12 pm

    Check out what the survey by “The Centre on Constitutional Change”(Edinburgh Uni) has reported.
    Some of it is in the Guardian Politics live, timed at 1709. Heavy stuff! Pure Kryptonite for Scottish Tory Unionists.


    • johnrobertson834 October 9, 2018 / 5:59 am

      Thanks Gavin. The one above is 2017.

      Kryponite!? Must find this. No link?


  5. gavin October 8, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    The piece by @Ailsa_Henderson and @RWynJones is titled-

    This other Eden: Brexit, England and the future of the Tory Party.

    Astonishing stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

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