LONDON, United Kingdom - A group of 80 British charities have accused the UK government of systematically violating international human rights law in its treatment of disabled people.
The accusation was made in a report published by Just Fair, a consortium of national charities, including Amnesty International, Save the Children, and Oxfam, Press TV reported. The charities said that the British government's austerity measures and welfare reforms such as bedroom tax have undermined the rights of the disabled people causing them significant hardship.
The report also called for the inclusion of the right to independent living into law to make it binding upon policymakers. In addition, the report said that the support structures for many disabled Britons have disappeared or are under threat as local authorities cut social care budgets, while benefit cuts will leave many disabled people without vital assistance for daily living.
Aoife Nolan, a professor of international human rights law at the University of Nottingham and a trustee of Just Fair, said that the United Kingdom (UK) government's policies were undermining the human rights of the disabled people. "Not only do these policies cause significant hardship and anxiety, but they also amount to impermissible backward steps in relation to disabled people's human rights, contrary to the UN human rights framework," said Nolan.
In response to the charities' report, Disability Minister Mike Penning denied that the government is breaching international human rights laws, claiming that the reforms are aimed at "fixing a broken welfare system." The report will be submitted to the United Nations (UN), which is in the process of reviewing Britain's compliance with its obligations to the rights of disabled people.