An international committee of disabled human rights experts have delivered a series of withering attacks on the UK government over its failure to implement the UN disability convention.
Following a two-day public examination of the UK’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the committee said it was “deeply concerned” that the UK government still believed it was a “champion of human rights”.
The committee’s chair, Theresia Degener (pictured), from Germany, told the UK government’s delegation that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”, which was “totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in”.
Stig Langvad, the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) member who is leading the UK examination, said the government had failed to demonstrate its commitment to the convention.
He said the government had failed to answer many questions put to it by the committee over the two days, and that it had “become evident that the committee has a very different perception of how human rights should be understood and implemented” than the UK government.
He called on the UK to develop a “concrete strategy which is sufficiently funded” to “fully acknowledge and implement the convention”.
Langvad said the committee was “deeply concerned” about the government’s refusal to recognise the findings and recommendations of the committee’s earlier inquiry, which concluded last November that there had been “grave and systematic violations” of three key parts of the convention.
He said: “We expect the state party to take the appropriate measures to address the recommendations of our inquiry report.”