United Nations (UN) Two UK Investigations

In case Main Stream Media >looks directly at BBC, Daily Mail and Daily Record< tries to confuse the issue – the UK is under TWO UN Investigations.

The first is about violations of Disability Rights (which given the behaviour of the UK Government, Conservatives and Department of Work and Pensions DWP– we’re about 91,470%[1] sure the UK Government is  guilty – but who am I to judge…their record speaks for itself)

Anyone experienced in the DWP death stories is probably wondering why I did not list ATOs[2] in the ( ) comment. ATO’s is about to be taken over by Maximus. Maximus deserves its own paragraph.

Maximus[3] has ALREADY (before they have even taken over from ATOs) been found guilty of failures and abuses in the US. It has been found guilty of disability discrimination, constantly involved in Medicaid fraud, has been found guilty of paying lower wages to women than men and has had racial discrimination complaints filed against them

That is Maximus. The UK Government has given the ATOs/DWP Assessments to a company that regularly commits criminal offenses[4].

Back to the UN.

So the First investigation is about

Violations of Disability Rights.

Specifically the UN is looking at whether Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms have caused “grave or systematic violations” of disabled peoples’ human rights[5].

The second is about whether

Welfare Cuts have disproportionally hit marginalised groups[6].

This is a huge enquiry in terms of the number of topics (there are 30) it aims to look at; including gender pay gap, youth unemployment, and trade union rights etc.

Additional issues under this investigation will include

  • What steps are being taken to reduce reliance on emergency food aid from food banks. (At this point I can imagine Iain Duncan Smith jumping up and down in the back row shouting “I’m going to put Job Advisors into Food Banks…that’s our [UK Gov’s] full reply to starvation and Welfare Deaths in the UK”[7]
  • The extent of homelessness, and measures to reduce the numbers sleeping rough. (Well UN – you’re in luck here! We’re opening Work Houses and calling them ‘Charity Recycling Centres’ [8]
  • Whether there is fair access to higher education because of university fees.

The second report is also looking at how the UK Government is tackling forced marriage, domestic violence and female genital mutilation, and the strategy to combat human trafficking etc. Whilst the second investigation is welcomed – it is Standard.

“The investigation is part of a periodic review of all the countries that have signed up to the covenant. A UN delegation of independent experts from numerous countries is set to hold public six-hour talks with government officials next summer” http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/29/un-investigate-impact-welfare-cuts-vulnerable-uk-groups

What should actually be dominating the news (and it will NOT do so) is the investigation into Violations of Disability Rights – because it was not routine, it was TRIGGERED.

Triggering a UN investigation is no small matter. And it certainly not easy.

Linda Burnip[9], founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC – You may recognise them from Twitter as we regularly RT them), initiated the UN investigation into the UK government’s grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s human rights. DPAC has been vital and tireless in campaigning for the rights of disabled people.

For Three and a Half Years members of DPAC have been gathering and submitting evidence to the United Nations. They campaigned and fought for an inquiry using Article 6 of the Optional Protocol within the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (You may notice we’ve used Article 6 in a previous article challenging Argyll and Bute Councils Cuts).

DPACs website can be found at http://dpac.uk.net/

This will the FIRST time a country has been investigated by the UN using the Optional Protocol.

If you wish to go into more detail about Article 6 and how it relates to the UN investigation please check out

https://dpac.uk.net/2015/10/why-are-the-un-investigating-the-uk-government-for-potential-breaches-of-disabled-peoples-human-rights/

And Finally, I thought this was quite a good few lines from the webpage above from DPAC:

There are of course too many cuts and reforms to note here, but here are 2 facts worth bearing in mind:

Disabled people are paying up to 9 times more through direct and indirect cuts in order to balance the UK’s budget than non-disabled people;

For disabled people with the highest support needs, this figure rises to 19 times more.

In what is still the 6th richest country in the world.

 

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[1] http://bravemany.com/so-how-many/

[2] ATOs – they do the assessments to determine IF someone is disabled or sick enough to receive welfare using Nurses/ Paramedics or Trainee Medical Staff with no specialisms in said illnesses and usually subject applicants to a degrading inaccurate inhumane process. http://bravemany.com/archive-1/

[3] http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/node/161

[4] http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/maximus-wins-wca-contract/

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/un-to-investigate-uk-over-human-rights-abuses-against-disabled-people-caused-by-welfare-reform-10478536.html

[6] http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/29/un-investigate-impact-welfare-cuts-vulnerable-uk-groups?CMP=share_btn_tw

[7] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/28/food-banks-job-benefits-advisers-iain-duncan-smith

[8] http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2014/11/28/the-first-of-the-new-workhouses/

 

[9] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/sep/16/disability-un-investigation-uk-government-violations-human-rights

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