Response to Joint Committee on Human Rights’ Independent Living report

Commission response to Joint Committee on Human Rights’ report “Implementation of the right of disabled people to independent living”

01 March 2012

 The Equality and Human Rights Commission welcomes this report on independent living. It gave written and oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ (JCHR) for its report.

The Commission agrees with the recommendation to amend the Health and Social Care Bill to bring it within the scope of the Human Rights Act 1998. The amendment would protect the human rights of all people using home care services, including disabled and older people.

The Commission also supports the recommendation to consider the cumulative impact of policy and spending decisions.

Mike Smith, Commissioner, Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“We are pleased that the JCHR has recognised that independent living is important for disabled people. We hope that the government will act to make the rights in UN Convention a reality for disabled people. Disabled people should have the same level of choice, control and freedom in their daily lives as everybody else.”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission, Scottish Human Rights Commission and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission are jointly responsible for reviewing the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in the UK. Article 19 of that convention is about independent living. The UK ratified the Convention in 2009.

Ends

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Notes to editors

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 reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.