A recent raft of welfare reforms could violate the human rights of disabled people, charities have warned.
A report by Just Fair, a consortium of more than 80 organisations, including Oxfam and Amnesty International, argues that policies like the bedroom tax have caused “significant hardship” and could be in breach of international law.
The research, which will be presented to the United Nations, is the first in-depth analysis of whether the Government is meeting its obligations at a time when money is tight.
It reveals that councils have seen their social care budgets slashed, while attempts to cut the benefit bill have left many disabled people with less support than previously.
Baroness Campbell, a cross-bench peer, said: “It is both extremely worrying and deeply sad that the UK – for so long regarded as an international leader in protecting and promoting disabled people’s rights – now risks sleepwalking towards the status of a systematic violator of these same rights.
“In the year that the UK is subject to examinations by both the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, I hope this excellent report serves as a major wake-up call.”
The document, which quotes many personal experiences, has called for a “right to independent living” to be enshrined in UK law, which would put greater pressure on politicians and public bodies to ensure that they meets their obligations to the disabled.
In response to claims that the Government was falling short, Disability Minister Mike Penning said that the reforms would allow money to be spent more effectively.