Feb 142017
 

 

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Force the government to act on the eleven recommendations of the UNCRPD report”.

Government responded:

This Government engaged fully with the inquiry process. However, we strongly reject the findings and believe that the core intentions of many of the recommendations are already being fulfilled.

This Government engaged fully with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) inquiry process. In their report, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) expressed appreciation for our support throughout the process, which included facilitating a visit to the UK and providing written evidence on numerous occasions.

On receipt of the report, we considered the findings alongside our own evidence. In making this comparison, it was clear that there were individual facts in the report that were incorrect. Additionally, the report failed to place the reforms investigated in the wider context of improvements made and the support available. For example, in discussing Article 27 ‘Work and Employment’, the report barely mentions the raft of work-related support available to disabled people and therefore presents a highly partial view.

The UK supported the development of the Convention and was among the first countries to sign it in 2007. Our approach to disability equality, which focuses on inclusion and mainstreaming (with additional support provided as necessary) and on involving disabled people in decision-making, is very much aligned with the Convention. The report itself recognised that “at a national level, it appears that the welfare system together with a social and health care system provide a solid base for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and that the system has allowed persons with disabilities to achieve an acceptable level of autonomy and
DWP E-Petitions Response independence”. It also recognised measures to reinforce choice and control in the UK through the increased personalisation and localisation of services.

This Government considered the recommendations made by the Committee. Many of the recommendations promote approaches and actions that we already take, such as actively engaging disabled people in policy design and delivery. Others promote actions that the UK Government has already identified as areas for improvement; the Government response sets out some of the work being done across the UK to ensure progress in these areas, such as increasing the accessibility of information and tackling negative attitudes towards disabled people. Several recommendations are prescriptive in nature, sighting specific methodologies that should be implemented. The UK is committed to meeting its obligations of progressing towards the full participation and inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of life on an equal basis. However, how we ensure this progression remains for the UK Government, and the wider parliament, to decide.

The UK is a strong parliamentary democracy, where the voices and opinions of disabled people are represented and listened to, and disabled people’s rights are respected, promoted and upheld. It is also a world leader in disability issues. We are proud of the work we do to support people with disabilities and health conditions, both domestically and abroad. And we believe that the core intentions of the recommendations are already incorporated into UK policies and practices, and delivered in a way that fits with the values and structures particular to the UK.

However, we do recognise that there is more to do to meet the Convention’s ambition of full participation and inclusion, and this Government is committed to continuing progress towards this. Taking employment as an example, our aspiration is for disabled people to get the same opportunities as others to find work while ensuring that people who cannot work because of a disability or health condition receive the support they need. That is why this Government is committed to, and working towards, halving the disability employment gap. The ‘Improving Lives’ Green Paper seeks views on how to ensure that health and welfare systems support people who can work with better opportunities to stay in employment, while protecting people who can’t work, with a view to meeting the Government’s ambition.

This Government champions work because of its power to transform people’s lives. We strongly believe that, though welfare provides necessary social protection, it is not the only way to help disabled people live independent, inclusive lives in which they can fulfil their potential. Implementing the Convention articles requires more than higher welfare payments. It requires society-wide shifts in attitudes and behaviours, innovative approaches to health provision, and concerted efforts to break down persistent barriers preventing disabled people from living independently, working, and enjoying full inclusion in their communities. This Government remains committed to working across government and sectors to ensure that these changes take place, supporting disabled people in the UK to fully participate in all aspects of life on an equal basis.

Department for Work and Pensions

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/172393?reveal_response=yes

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

 

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 Posted by at 12:54

  5 Responses to “More on UN report -200 interviewees and 3,000 pages of evidence were all wrong.”

  1. The British government is exceptional in that many policies have already had the effect of reducing choices, opportunities, income and independence for people with disabilities. The emphasis in work is a red herring. Most disabled people I know have qualifications and worked for as long as possible but now need time for medical appointments, strong medication, and daily rest and recovery time. With support they are able to play an important role in their families and communities.

  2. Of course our government “strongly reject the findings”, agreeing with any of them would mean they had to admit they were wrong, they had mercilessly and inhumaely treated the chronically sick and disabled and we know the tories don’t ever admit they are wrong !!
    As for the general publics opionion.. apathy at best, it doesn’t affect me so i don’t care at the worst

  3. I agree, entirely, about the amount of apathy and pure disinterest from a large section of the British public. We have to remember that the disabled have been effectively demonized by the government and that many of the true horrors of this flawed system have been buried or shown little interest by a press who have colluded. Almost nobody that I know has known about the UN ruling until I have informed them, even the disabled. The BBC have told me that the UN ruling did not have enough ‘editorial merit’ which, quite frankly, damning. A recent email from my Tory MP’s office, stated that there is no debate planned on the report and linked it to the lack of signatures on the petition! As if government debates on serious issues usually instigated by petitions…which they are not. The government is using the lack of signatures as an excuse for the lack of debate over the issue! And where are the Opposition Parties in all this. They appear to have given up on us!

  4. The Government response was just as I and so many other disabled people had expected. The changes made very quietly to the Ministerial Code in the middle of October 2015 made it so much easier for them to simply ignore the UN report.

    Prior to the change in the Ministerial Code it read: “an overarching duty on Ministers to comply with the law including international law and treaty obligations and to uphold the administration of justice and to protect the integrity of public life”. Following the change to the Code, all reference to complying with international law and treaty obligations and to uphold the administration of justice had been removed.

    It was around that time that the UN Committee announced that they would investigate the 41 complaints from DPAC that I created a document on 14th January 2016 that illustrated the possible outcome of the UN report and it partly stated “If the UK Government is to take no notice of international law or treaty obligations then the current investigation by the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities will be worthless.”

    Unfortunately, my prediction came true. However, I was surprised that there was so little coverage in the media when the Report was so damning of the Government and condemned the treatment of disabled people.

  5. I started the petition & I expected nothing less in response from the government.

    What I didn’t expect was the public’s apathetic reaction to the UN report. This makes me angry, if not angrier, than the fabricated statistics the government have referenced in justifying their policies & actions.

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