Sisters of Frida calls out UK Government on human rights violations of disabled women
Sisters of Frida joins Deaf and Disabled People‚Äôs Organisations (DDPOs) from across the UK in Geneva this week to present evidence of violations on disabled people‚Äôs rights to the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD)
In a closed session on Monday 21st August, DDPOs will highlight the UK Government‚Äôs failure to respond to many of the questions put to it by the Committee throughout this process. They will tell the Committee of the systemic failure to support disabled people to live independently and to have access to social, educational, and employment opportunities.
This is the first time the UN Disability Committee is reviewing the UK‚Äôs progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since the UK government ratified the Convention in 2009. DDPOs will tell the Committee that the government has ignored many of the questions put to it earlier this year as part of the review process. The Committee will consider the government‚Äôs response to its questions and the DDPOs‚Äô observations before questioning representatives from the UK and devolved governments in Geneva later this week (23 and 24 August).
Eleanor Lisney, Director of Sisters of Frida says,
‚ÄėWe have been calling out on the failure of the UK Government to fulfil obligations to disabled women since 2013 when we joined the UK CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Workgroup and delegation in 2013 going to Geneva). We did the same when we went to UN in New York city for CSW (UN Commission on the Status of Women) the UKNGOCSW delegation and held a side event. It is vital that disabled women are represented in processes like CRPD reporting as too often our experience as disabled women is invisible.This is an opportunity to change this and show how the cuts and legal changes are affecting us.‚Äô
Sarah Rennie, who will be representing Sisters of Frida in Geneva says,
‚ÄėThe UK Government‚Äôs response does not address how gender-specific policies incorporate the social model of disability to break down barriers, meet the needs of Disabled women, or require an intersectional approach. We urge the Government to immediately remove the ‚Äúbest interests‚ÄĚ defence in the Serious Crime Act 2015 which restricts Disabled women from seeing their perpetrators of emotional abuse brought to justice, and to improve access to medical care for Disabled women including pre-natal and reproductive health services.‚Äô
The DDPOs’ submission was co-produced by Reclaiming our Futures Alliance (including Sisters of Frida ), Inclusion Scotland, People First Scotland, DRUK, Disability Wales, Disability Action Northern Ireland, British Deaf Association, and Black Triangle.
Notes to editors:
1) The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities investigation is assessing what steps the UK has taken to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. The committee is a body of experts, nominated and elected by governments. The majority of committee members are disabled people.
2) The committee postponed its scheduled assessment of the UK (originally due in 2015) to hold a special inquiry into complaints by DPPOs that the government‚Äôs welfare reform policies had violated disabled people‚Äôs rights. The current assessment looks at a much wider set of issues, including our laws on mental health and mental capacity, employment policies and education.
3) Before examining UK and devolved government representatives on Wednesday and Thursday the committee will meet with representatives of DDPOs to discuss their views on the formal written response already tabled by the UK government. The DDPOs have prepared their own submission as highlighted above.
4) Previous UN shadow reports from Sisters of Frida can be found at http://www.sisofrida.org/resources/
5) ROFA is an alliance of Disabled People and their organisations in England including Inclusion London, Equal Lives, Alliance for Inclusive Education, Sisters of Frida, National People First and Disabled People Against Cuts. For more information see: www.rofa.org.uk
6) more information about Sisters of Frida to be found at http://www.sisofrida.org
7) information on the status of disabled women in the Serious Crime Art 2015 can be found at http://www.sisofrida.org/resources/violence-against-women/
Press queries to
Eleanor Lisney, Director, mobile 07737480378
SOF CRPD Shadow Report : UK Initial Report on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Disabled people‚Äôs organisations (DPOs) have come together to tell a UN committee the different ways in which the UK government has been breaching the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). See Disability News Service ‘s article DPOs join forces to brief UN on how UK has breached disability convention¬†
Sisters of Frida wrote a short shadow report on 3 Articles with List of Issues. We also contributed to the ROFA shadow report.