Disabled people are facing a “multitude of attacks on their human rights and living standards” by the UK Government, say campaigners.
Disability rights campaigners have revealed a ‘dossier of complaints’ from disabled people, which has sparked a United Nations investigation into the Government’s welfare reforms.
The dossier includes a list of 41 issues including the devastating impact of benefits sanctions, ‘bedroom tax’ and controversial ‘fitness for work’ tests on disabled people’s ability to live a full and independent life.
Other important issues raised in the dossier, described as being of “great historic importance” by campaigners, include how disability benefit changes and cuts to mobility allowances have led to misery for countless disabled people – and even unnecessary deaths.
The dossier, handed to the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the protest group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), is said to show how “vicious and punitive attacks” by the UK Government “are being carried out in every area” of disabled people’s lives.
Scottish disability charity, Inclusion Scotland, announced last week that the UN’s Special Rapporteur on disability will visit the UK “in the near future”. And will investigate whether the cumulative impact of the Government’s welfare cuts tantamount to a “grave and systematic” human rights violation.
A spokesperson for DPAC told Herald Scotland that due to confidentiality she could not reveal any more details at this time. But added the UN’s investigation – the first of its kind – would be “getting more active in the next few months”.
Disabled people’s rights should be “respected rather than torn away at every opportunity”, she said.
She added: “As the submission was put together by a team of three people it has proved…that we do not need to wait for big organisations to act, nor have a large staff or millions in funding to create change and resistance”.
The spokesperson said disabled people in the UK are rarely affected to just one or two of the Government’s welfare changes. But instead are “facing a multitude of attacks on their human rights and living standards”, with many disabled people affected by numerous cuts and welfare changes.
“It is rarely just one or two issues per person”, she said.
“This is the crucial point in the current retrogression of the human rights of disabled people – attacks are being carried out in every area of our lives.
“There has been a massive rise in the numbers of disabled people being sanctioned and left reliant on food banks, and the increasing levels of malnutrition people are suffering due to increased poverty.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “All United Nations inquiry processes are confidential and we are unable to comment on the speculation surrounding this.”
Last edited at 05:42 on 7 September 2015 to provide greater clarity.