UK Independent Mechanism updates UN on Disabled Peoples Rights

Published Date
Michaela Hollywood

The United Kingdom Independent Mechanism has launched a report outlining progress that has been made in the last year for disabled people.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held a review into the state of accessibility and inclusion in 2017, and this report updates the committee on the progress made since the hearing.

The UNCRPD investigation revealed a number of failings, and they requested an update from the UK a year later to ensure that steps were being taken so that the UK would meet its’ obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The report from UKIM has outlined some positive steps forward, including:

  • Independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Increase in the number of disabled people in employment and slight decrease of
  • The disability employment gap; and government initiatives to further improve
  • Disabled people’s access to employment across the UK
  • Significant increase of the Access to Work payment cap
  • Proposals to introduce targets for the number of disabled people employed in the
  • Public sector in Scotland
  • Outworking of the time-limited welfare reform mitigations strategy in Northern
  • Ireland
  • Welsh Government’s Supporting People programme, and
  • Proposed measures to tackle online hate speech, harassment and abuse in the UK.

However, the UKIM have expressed disappointment in the UK Government for not setting out a strategy to improve their compliance with the UN Convention.  They have also criticized the UK Government for their unwillingness to accept the outcome of the UN investigation.

In the reports executive summary, UKIM said:

In the meantime, the picture emerging from the most recent evidence about disabled people’s lives remains deeply concerning. Disabled people across the UK continue to face serious regression of many of their rights, as presented in this report. Social protections have been reduced and disabled people and their families continue to be some of the hardest hit. More and more disabled people are finding it difficult to live independently and be included, and participate, in their communities on an equal basis.

Trailblazers Campaigns Officer Michaela Hollywood said:

We support UKIM in their continued work to improve the current situation for disabled people living in the UK.  It is at the core of our work that we believe disabled people should be able to live their lives independently and barrier free.  Unfortunately, too often our work shows that very real barriers still exist.


We will work with UKIM and all those who support disabled people to ensure progress is made.  We are disappointed that UKIM have found the UK Government have not cemented a UK-wide plan to address the UNCRPD committee concerns, but we will continue working to ensure that a strategy is put in place and followed through.

You can find out more about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities here.

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