UNCRPD Shadow Scottish report finds that austerity measures are breaching disabled people’s human rights

Date: 20th February 2017
Category: Disabled children

A new report has found that austerity measures, a lack of accessible housing and information and a lack of independent advocacy services are having a major impact on implementation of disabled people's rights.

The report has been compiled by ten disabled people's organisations (DPOs) and one academic in Scotland, and funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Sally Witcher, Chief Executive of Inclusion Scotland, said: "For too long disabled people have been singled out for cuts. UK government austerity measures have undermined our human rights in the most devastating ways. No longer can we take even the most basic of support for granted."

There are three cross-cutting issues which have implications across a number of articles.

  • Austerity cuts to national and local public expenditure and changes in UK social security policy are impacting on a range of rights, particularly under articles 19, 20, 25, 27, 28 and 30. The HRCS support the findings of the CRPD committee's inquiry into the UK state party's implementation of the Convention.
  • Independent Advocacy services, including specialist services, are underfunded and cannot meet need. This compromises the ability of disabled people to identify and access appropriate support to claim their rights, particularly in relation to articles 12, 13, 14, 26 and 28.
  • Inadequate provision of accessible information affects rights under a range of articles and is not limited to Article 9. In particular, people with learning disabilities, deaf people and hard of hearing people find it challenging to obtain all the accessible information they require.

The report follows the individual articles in the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and makes recommendations to the Scottish Government on their implementation.