United Nations condemns UK Government

The UN has criticised the UK for failing to protect disabled peoples' rights.

News | 01.09.17

The United Nations has found that the UK is failing to respect the human rights of and creating a "human catastrophe" for disabled people. 

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has again reviewed a report of the United Kingdom and met with official from the UK government and independent and disability bodies. The committee’s chair, Theresia Degener, told the UK government’s delegation that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”, which was “totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in”.

You can read an account of this discussion from the Disability News Service.

The official United Nations (UN) account of the event can be read on the UN website.

The 'United Nations Concluding observations on the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' paper is available to download (as a word document) here

Speaking on behalf of the independent monitoring mechanism set up to monitor disabled people’s rights in the UK, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission David Isaac said:

“There is a real concern that disabled people are being increasingly marginalised and shut out of society as they bear the brunt of the accumulated impact of cuts in public spending.Disabled people have won hard fought battles in recent decades to ensure that they can live independently to exercise choice and control over their support. Evidence of regression must be confronted and urgently addressed.

“As the UK and devolved governments’ track record on disability rights comes under the international microscope, we call for concerted action to remove the barriers in society that prevent disabled people living full lives on equal terms with non-disabled people. Everyone is entitled to the same opportunities and respect – the governments must start taking the human rights of disabled people more seriously.”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have published their updated submission to the UN:


The Independent have covered this news on their website:


And, BBC Newsnight interviewed Tracy Lazard CEO of Inclusion London (unsurprisingly the Government refused to be interviewed on the topic):

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform said:

"This report is just one more in a series of severe criticisms by the United Nations of the UK's appalling social policies. Sadly the UK Government continues to ignore these criticisms; however it is encouraging to see that the level of media interest in the UN's criticisms has increased incrementally each time. If the Labour Party, and other progressive political leaders, could unite around the UN's criticisms and recommendations then it might be possible to make the UK Government more accountable for its abuse of human rights."

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