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Disabled campaigners demand talks with May over inaction on damning UN human rights report

DISABILITY rights campaigners have demanded talks with Prime Minister Theresa May over the “human catastrophe” in which millions of disabled people’s lives are getting worse.

The call follows the UN damning report six months ago on the government’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

Last August’s report made a number of recommendations, which a coalition of disabled rights organisations that gave evidence to the UN says have not been implemented by the government.

These include a failure to implement the 2010 Equality Act, the lack of joined-up working across Britain’s nations and the continuing employment-opportunities gap that disabled people face.

Resources to ensure disabled people’s right to independent living and inclusion in their communities and the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection were also called for.

Inclusion London head Tracey Lazard said: “Six months on from the UN disability committee’s damning verdict on this government’s failure to protect and progress disabled people’s rights, things continue to get worse not better for disabled people.

“The government appears to be maintaining its position of blanket denial that there is anything wrong, dismissing our lived experience, the UN findings, and failing to act on any of the recommendations put forward in the committee’s concluding observations.

“This state of affairs cannot continue. Disabled people’s organisations from across the UK are calling on the government to recognise the very serious concerns identified by the UN disability committee.”

She called on the government “to begin working with, not against, disabled people so we can get our rights, inclusion and equality back on track.”

Coalition members include Disabled People Against Cuts, Disability Rights UK, Black Triangle, Equal Lives, the UK Disabled People’s Council and the British Deaf Association among others.

In their joint letter to the PM, the coalition said: “We trust that the government will embrace the need to be more proactive in promoting and implementing disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society.

“Our expectation is that the UK will once again be seen as a leader in implementing the human rights of disabled people by all countries across the world.”

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