The UK and Scottish Governments must do more to protect the human rights of disabled people in Scotland, according to evidence presented to the United Nations in Geneva today.


The UK andScottish reports, submitted to the UN by the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, assess the extent to which the UK and Scottish Governments are meeting their international human rights treaty obligations.

A recent inquiry by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded that the UK Government’s welfare change programme has resulted in grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s human rights. The evidence presented in Geneva today highlights further areas in which improvement is urgently needed to ensure disabled people in Scotland can live independently with dignity – including access to housing, education, health, law, advocacy and money.
Speaking about today’s report, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission Judith Robertson said: “We call on the UK and Scottish Governments to act urgently so that disabled people are able to access all of their rights, including the right to live independently, to work and to an adequate standard of living. These rights are protected in international law by the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The Commissions monitor the Convention’s implementation in Scotland.
“As the Scottish Government and Parliament considers how to utilise new devolved powers in relation to social security, the Commissions’ particularly draw attention to the need to embed human rights into any new laws, policies and practices.”
Alastair Pringle, Scotland Director of the EHRC added: “Disabled people face multiple exclusions today in Scotland. The lack of accessible or appropriate housing and transport remain major barriers to disabled peoples full participation in society. 
“As a result disabled people are half as likely to be in work as non-disabled people. Scotland suffers as a result. We have a large potential workforce of skilled and talented people who are unable to contribute to Scottish society – economically, socially or civically – because of removable barriers to full participation. We need to harness this talent and enable disabled people to play their full role in Scottish society”.  
A short animation summarising the report and its key recommendations will be launched via the Scottish Human Rights Commission’s YouTube channel later today.