Creating a fairer Britain
08 June 2010
On the first anniversary of Britain’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has welcomed the government’s commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of disabled people and called on it to take the particular needs of disabled people into account in its future financial planning.
The Convention requires signatories to uphold the rights of disabled children and adults. It is aimed at promoting respect for the inherent dignity of disabled people and promoting their inclusion in society.
Mike Smith, Commissioner and Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Disability Committee, said:
“The Commission welcomes the Government’s commitment to breaking down the barriers which prevent disabled people having the chance to succeed and to participate fully in society. We are heartened that they have pledged to tackle the stigma and prejudice that still persists towards disabled people, to reform our social care system and to promote employment opportunities.
“However, the Government and public authorities should have regard to their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when making the difficult spending decisions ahead.
“Many disabled people rely on public services to achieve the most basic levels of human dignity and participate equally in society; to get up in the morning and go to bed at night, to eat a meal, visit their family or access transport. For many, these services are an essential lifeline without which they would be unable to contribute to their families or community.
“We would also ask the Government to continue with reforms that give disabled people greater control over their own lives and increased opportunities to play their full part in rebuilding our economy.”
For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.
The Commission will shortly be producing guidance on 'UNCRPD - What does it mean for me?' The guidance contains information about what the Convention means and how it can be used by disabled people and their organisations. For further information about the guidance or the work the Commission is doing on the UN Disability Convention please contact UNCRPD@equalityhumanrights.com.
The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.