Submission to the Joint Committee on the Draft Care and Support Bill

  1. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) welcomes the opportunity to provide evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Care and Support Bill.
  2. Care and support raise questions of equality and human rights. Promoting equality and human rights in care and support improves the lives of the individuals using those services. Conversely, poor quality care and support, exacerbated by a lack of choice, can infringe people’s human rights and protections under the Equality Act 2010.
  3. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which protects the right to respect for private and family life, is particularly relevant to the provision of care and support. Also relevant are articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), for example, freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse (Article 16); living independently and being included in the community (Article 19); freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information (Article 21); respect for privacy (Article 22); respect for home and family life (Article 23); and work and employment (Article 27).
  4. The Commission has published several reports on social care and human rights (details below). Our analysis suggests that reform of the legislative framework for social care may facilitate a shift to a system where people receive tailored support in ways which allow them to take command over their lives, increasing their degree of choice and control. It is acknowledged that people will have varied preferences concerning the degree of control they assume, but the goal of maximising choice and control is critical to promoting autonomy, dignity and respect .

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Last updated: 06 May 2016