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Why contributing to CEDAW and CRPD shadow reports is important

Sisters of Frida have been part of the CEDAW Working Group for the past few years. It is since the present Coalition Government that we are getting more and more stories of hardships and even deaths/suicides of disabled people under the draconian cuts imposed by the austerity drive. Disability hate crimes have risen and disabled people have been stigmatised as scroungers in the media and many are living in fear of losing their benefits, homes, and independent living.
We highlighted one just last week when one of our own Sisters of Frida’s members, Anne Pridmore, was at court with other 5 people on behalf of thousands of others –¬† challenging the Government‚Äôs decision to scrap the Independent Living Fund from 2015 and devolve it to local authorities instead. With Anne’s story and those of other women affected by the closure of the Independent Living Fund, we can see how Article 19 of the CRPD¬†is being violated in the UK.
This is what Anne has to say about it:
(From Channel 4 website)
And this is her story on the Disabled People Against Cuts website.
In addition there are the other issues such as domestic violence for disabled women – they would be even more vulnerable to abuse and less able to leave their family ‘carers’ without the funding. Benefits such as the Disability Living Allowance (DLA, soon to become Personal Independence Payment PIP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) would no longer be eligible for many disabled people vigourously reassessed by Atos Healthcare.¬† Disabled women who need it to help them with maintaining their independent living will be stranded at home and isolated from their communities. Sometimes these reassessments have even caused deaths. Disability rights fought for and by disabled men and women are seriously being eroded. We need to alert the rest of the world of the plight of disabled community in the UK by the government rescinding on its own obligations.
Sisters of Frida has submitted CRPD general discussion on women and girls with disabilities as part of the UK CEDAW working group. It is obvious that there is much intersection between CEDAW and CRPD and we should use both instruments and contribute as disabled women to the shadow reports.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is critical to monitoring the implementation of the CRPD. All countries that have ratified the treaty must submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights protected in the CRPD are being implemented in their countries.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

The Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women members discusses the reports with the Government representatives and explore with them areas for further action by the specific country. The Committee also makes general recommendations to the States parties on matters concerning the elimination of discrimination against women.

Producing Shadow Reports to the CEDAW Committee:
A Procedural Guide

Explains how to write shadow reports that monitor and document the human rights situation in your country. This guide is focused on monitoring the CEDAW. However, it could be adapted by DPOs for use in producing their own shadow reports in monitoring implementation of the CRPD as well.

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