Creating a fairer Britain
The Commission in Wales marked the International Day of Disabled People by hosting conferences in Swansea (Dec 2) and Llandudno (Dec 4) to raise awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention, which was ratified by the UK Government on 8th June 2009, is the first international human rights treaty of the 21st Century. These events allowed people to explore how the Convention can be used to make human rights an everyday reality. Around 150 disabled people and groups attended the conferences.
Disability issues in Wales are brought into sharp focus by statistics showing that:
The Commission also used the International Day of Disabled People (December 3) to announce that it is to conduct a Formal Inquiry into disability related harassment. The Inquiry will gather and examine evidence from disabled people who have been affected by disability-related harassment and from public authorities on what steps they are taking to tackle the issue. Evidence already gathered by the Commission indicates that targeted violence or hostility towards disabled people is widespread in Britain. People with learning disabilities or mental health conditions in particular experience high levels of victimisation.
Kate Bennett, National Director for Wales, Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
“There have been recent cases where targeted hostility, bullying and antisocial behaviour has escalated into more serious violence, murder or the death of disabled people.
“The recent inquest into the tragic deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francecca point to the need for early intervention and preventative action.
“Our Inquiry will look at the everyday experiences of disabled people. Living in modern Wales involves a lot of contact with public services so we want to get a better picture of what public bodies are doing to tackle the harassment that disabled people face.”
Read the commission's publication Making Rights a Reality: Implementing the UN Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities