Sisters of Frida Home

Bringing disabled women together, mobilising
and sharing through lived experiences

Submission to the UN Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

We were told about the possibility to add a submission to the UN CESCR Committee which is reviewing the UK at their next session in June by the International Disability Alliance.
Armineh Soorenian with Eleanor Lisney with some help from others for references came together with this Submission to CESCR Committee.Sisters of Frida.UK. ENIL also published it under the heading Rights of UK Disabled Women in Spotlight.

Sisters of Frida (SoF), a disabled women’s collective based in the UK, highlighted a number of developments that have negatively impacted on disabled people, in their submission to the UN Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The input provided will feed into ongoing review of the UK by the Committee.

The submission has identified a number of restrictions disabled people face with respect to their economic and social rights (as set out in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), particularly the impact of austerity measures on their rights enjoyment and exercise.

Among other, SoF has expressed concerns about increasing institutionalisation of disabled people, as a result of the lack of adequate housing strategies. It also warned that the cuts to Access to Work and the Employment Support Allowance have led to further marginalisation of disabled people.

Finally, the submission focuses on Article 10 of the ICESCR – on the protection of family, mothers and children. It sets out barriers faced by disabled women and of those, disabled women from black and ethnic minorities (BME), calling for an amendment to the Serious Crime Act 2015.

See also the article in Disability News Service.


The number and quality of the recommendations made throughout the document was remarked on because ‘it is not a common practice for the committee to address the rights of disabled people in particular women, so comprehensively – re disproportionate impact of austerity measures, social protection, poverty, violence, employment, housing’ etc.

It emphasised problems with welfare reform, saying it was “deeply concerned” about “the various changes in the entitlements to, and cuts in, social benefits”, including the reduction of the household benefit cap, the four-year freeze on certain benefits and the reduction in child tax credits. It added that these changes adversely affect “women, children, persons with disabilities, low-income families and families with two or more children”.

And it called for more information in the UK’s next report to the committee on the impact of its national strategy on gender-based violence, particularly on disabled women and girls.

Here is the CESCR Committee’s Concluding Observations on UK document

See John Pring’s article in Disability News Service UN report raises ‘deep concerns’ about impact of austerity on disabled people

Read also UK Human Rights Blog on the report

The New Stateman The UN declares the UK’s austerity policies in breach of international human rights obligations

Comments are closed.