Grayling, IDS, Miller to be tried for crimes against humanity?

It might seem ridiculous but the DWP and Atos are guilty of the behaviour described in this image – and much worse – leading to loss of income and stress that, for some, has been intolerable. Thousands of deaths have been recorded.

It may seem like fantasy but the International Criminal Court has been asked to consider whether to take legal action against ministers in the UK government whose enforcement of austerity measures has led to the deaths of sick and disabled people.

Disability specialist Samuel Miller has written to the office of the prosecutor at the ICC in The Hague, intending to file a complaint against the ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions who are considered most responsible for the “draconian welfare reforms and the resultant deaths of their society’s most vulnerable” – Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller.

He believes there is precedent for such a case, thanks to a request for a Greek austerity trial at the Hague.

But the matter is not cut and dried. Mr Miller’s letter seeks clarification on whether austerity deaths of the sick and disabled in the UK are considered a crime against humanity by the ICC and whether the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would be taken into consideration by the court.

Mr Miller has spent the past year reporting on the crisis for the UK’s sick and disabled to the United Nations. His own verdict is clear as crystal: “Austerity measures consisting of draconian welfare reforms and ‘sham’ means-testing (Atos Healthcare UK and the Department for Work and Pensions) are ostensibly to blame for their plight – with disability hate crime and inflammatory media attacks factored into this mix.”

My own opinion is that Mr Miller is right. At the very least, IDS and his cronies are guilty of corporate manslaughter (see previous blog posts on disability, Atos, the DWP and the many, many deaths).

Will the International Criminal Court see it this way? We’ll have to wait and see.

To be honest, I doubt that this campaign will score a victory at its first attempt.

But the recent verdict on the Hillsborough tragedy has shown that people are prepared to work hard and wait a long time for justice.


  1. leonc1963 September 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Diary of an SAH Stroke Survivor.

  2. leonc1963 September 25, 2012 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    We at the SWU have also been campaighing on the international front and have written to Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities they replied fairly quickly considering our letter was sent to the USA.

    They wrote back requesting more evidence so at this point our committee members voted to contact Samuel and get him on board with us and tackle this jointly due in part to his fantastic knowledge he agreed and we are now moving forward.

    Our letter below:

    United Nations Enable
    Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Department of Economic and Social Affairs
    2 United Nations Plaza, DC2-1382
    New York,
    NY 10017
    United States of America

    Wednesday 11th September 2012

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to you on behalf of The Social Welfare Union in accordance with Article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Person with Disabilities which states “disabled people and their organisations should be involved in monitoring of the convention, in particular through shadow writing reports. These are reports that organisations can send to the United Nations Disability Committee to say what progress the government have made or not on implementing the convention.

    To inform you that we intend to send this document to the appropriate opposition ministers, the European Court of Human Rights, The Equality Commission, and the United Nations Commissioner for Disabled persons, as our full and accurate assessment of the current government’s policy in the area of benefit sanctions for disabled claimants.

    We are invoking this right in light of the information that the United Kingdom Government are intending to impose sanctions of up to £71 per week on disabled persons who do not complete the Department of Work and Pensions Workfare programme due to either a failure to ‘Attend and take part in work-focused interviews, without a good reason; or a failure to ‘Carry out work-related activities that your adviser asks you to do, without a good reason.’

    We believe this sanctioning process is in breach of the convention on several issues which are laid out below with the relevant article number and the reason for the dispute.

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:-

    Article 19 of this convention which covers independent living and community interaction states at section b) Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;

    We believe that these sanctions will severely limit a person’s ability to live independently and to engage with their local community. As you are well aware travelling with a disability is expensive for some disabled people even something as simple as a 5 minute trip to the shops to purchase a pint of milk involves the need to book a taxi to take the person to and from the shop, by imposing this sanction you will be removing a significant portion of the money that the Department for Work and Pensions themselves have said are indisputable in providing disabled persons with independence which will increase their isolation and push the expense of dealing with the negative physical and mental health issues onto the already over stretched and under resourced National Health Service.

    Article 20 Personal mobility states – Parties shall take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including by: a) Facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost; b) Facilitating access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost; c) Providing training in mobility skills to persons with disabilities and to specialist staff working with persons with disabilities; d) Encouraging entities that produce mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies to take into account all aspects of mobility for persons with disabilities.

    The imposing of these sanctions will make it harder if not impossible for disabled persons to purchase or maintain any of the equipment or services (such as the payment of transport or support staff) necessary to them for the function of personal mobility

    Article 27 of the Act states – Disabled people have the right to earn a living through work that they freely choose and in workplaces that are accessible and inclusive. Governments should promote this right to work by:
    ensuring disabled people are protected against discrimination in employment and are entitled to reasonable adjustments
    ensuring disabled people can access work experience
    ensuring disabled people enjoy fair working conditions, the same union rights as others and protection against harassment
    employing disabled people in the public sector
    promoting career development for disabled people including through access to training opportunities
    promoting self-employment and employment in the private sector
    supporting disabled people to stay in or get back to work.
    Disabled people should be protected against forced or compulsory labour.
    We contend that the government is failing on most aspects of this article;
    Firstly by imposing sanctions that will seriously affect the quality of life and ability to live independently you are forcing the disabled person into compulsory labour as they have no choice but to comply or face punishment this does not constitute supporting them into finding an appropriate placement for their needs.
    Secondly the government are doing nothing to address the fact that most workplaces are not set up for the ability to employ a person with disabilities safely, they are fraught with danger for the disabled person themselves or their support dogs by not having appropriate access to the offices, toilets, fire escapes, they are unable to meet the needs of people who are blind or deaf safely. There are grants available but no minimum quotas for companies nor sanctions for companies that refuse to employ a qualified disabled person (trying to prove your disability was the reason for not getting the job is virtually impossible)
    Thirdly most employers are less likely to even consider employing a person who is disabled hence the disparity between the numbers of disabled people wanting to work and those who successfully gain employment (
    Article 28 – Adequate standard of living and social protection states – Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right without discrimination on the basis of disability.
    We believe that this sanction will place such a strain on the personal finances of the disabled person that they will have to make decisions about which is the most important food or rent, heating or electricity, following the medical diet that they are prescribed or ignoring it putting their health at risk to be able to pay all their bills. These choices are clearly in breach of the aforementioned article in our opinion.
    We would also like to remind you of the recent ruling from the Joint Committee on Human Rights which was sent in writing to Ian Duncan Smith MP advising him that the consultation period for the Welfare Reform Process contravened several areas of the Human Rights Act and was therefore an illegal process; meaning any decision taken, or acts of parliament drawn out of its conclusions could also be illegal by contravening the scope of the Human Rights Act.

    We are also of the opinion that this Government has still failed to carry out a full and rigorous impact assessment in line with the Human Rights Act, European Union and United Nations conventions on the rights of disabled persons to live free and independent lives free from abuse, suffering, slavery, lack of medical treatment or in fear of their lives; We are of the strong opinion that if this proposed sanction is implemented them disabled people will feel all of the above and may decide that their only option is to take their own life if the restrictions of their condition due to not being able to pay for the appropriate equipment, services and diet doesn’t end their lives for them as direct result of the sanction being imposed. (see appendix for examples)

    We look forward with interest to your thoughts on our issues;

    All the best
    Jean Eveleigh
    Independent Disability Advisor
    Social Welfare Union
    Contact – C/O 95 Third Avenue, Manor Park, London E12 6DX
    Or e-mail – [email protected]

  3. Stephen Kelly L35 4NQ September 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Excellent news

  4. judy September 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Please do not forget David Freud (Lord) in all this!!! He has had and still has a major part to play

    • Mike Sivier September 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      You’re absolutely right. “Lord Fraud” certainly had a lot to do with getting the Welfare Reform Act through Parliament and should certainly be made accountable!

  5. Anna September 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    I want all of them made accountable for the thousands of deaths of people whose only crime was to be ill and disabled. In my opinion they are not much different from Nazis. They have made the lives of so many fearful and intimidated… so much so that with a life of struggle and trying to cope with the most dreadful pain, they were then driven to commit suicide. Some were so ill and weak with heart and lung problems that they died within a few months of being found fit for work. They (the void morons that orchestrated this dreadful mental cruelty) should be given very long prison sentences. It is against the laws of this country to kill people. Even a suicide can be punishable as the persons causing that suicide do not even have to be there at the time. It’s all crime and all those who commit such horrific crimes should by right be punished.

  6. Aletheia October 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I too want them all to be held accountable for crimes against humanity; for persecuting people for circumstances beyond their control. Justice needs to be served and punishable by very long prison sentences.
    This government and the people it employs who knowingly cause suffering or death to the sick or disabled, are long overdue to be held accountable for their heinous actions.

  7. Jane Russell October 2, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    So very pleased to hear that wheels are in motion to try to bring these evil toads to justice. I myself wrote to the Equality and Human Rights Commission at the beginning of the year to point out that this Nazi style government is completely flouting Article 27 and that disabled/seriously ill people are being forced to work/are being put into ‘back to work’ programs and that the deaths of people shortly after being declared fit for work needed to be looked into & the government gimps brought into line. I believe they also breach the Disability Discrimination Act.
    After an initial response I heard nothing so wrote again in June and received a reply to say since I had written to them about this issue, many more people had too and they were conducting a ‘review’ – so am hopeful that as these cretins have clearly disregarded the law and indeed seem to think they are above the law that they will be forced to face charges for all the blood on their hands. How great would it be to see these evil b’s behind bars where they belong?

    • Mike Sivier October 2, 2012 at 9:04 am - Reply

      As a reporter on these matters, even though my girlfriend is disabled and affected by the changes that have been brought in by the individuals mentioned in the article, I don’t know everything that has been happening; it’s impossible to keep up with it all. So it is heartwarming to see in your comment that “many more people” than you have written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission about this. However, I fear that the review they mention is what the DWP has already announced and will do nothing to bring justice to either the system or its perpetrators.

      • Jane Russell October 2, 2012 at 10:04 am - Reply

        Thanks for your reply Mike – but the EHRC review has not been completed yet and I have been promised a report on their findings and the action they may be able to take – so I don’t think the DWP announcement will be the same thing. However Mr “just call me ‘Adolf’ Cameron must be sweating buckets, as the media blackout on these stories seems to be slowly lifting and as this vile system is now reaching a wider audience, I imagine he is bricking it that his show bizz persona will be damaged and his ratings will plummet further. Also, I think he thought there would be no challenge picking on the weakest and sickest in society – most people don’t have the strength to fight and that is what I think he was counting on. He underestimates people. I think the fact that several organisations are fighting to see the man in front of EU Human Rights judges is probably making the creep squirm some!
        I have said for a long time that the only way things will change is if these stories are reported on the mainstream news programs – and now that they are, it’s becoming very embarrassing for the big C – and he knows he can’t get away with it for much longer. He’s nothing more than a show pony.
        I wrote to my unfit for purpose local MP – a Tory unfortunately – obviously I received the standard letter they all seem to have set up on their PC’s & send out to everyone – the same old “this system has been set up to help get disabled people back to work & off the scrap heap” clap trap, and “Professor Harrington said the system had much improved” – so I sent him a batch of stories reporting the latest deaths and have asked him to explain how the system has improved, when week after week I am STILL reading of continuing deaths of people having been declared fit for work.I also informed him that Cameron has ditched Mr Harrington – once his final report has been completed & wants to get a fresh face in for the next reports. I suggested that perhaps my MP needed to do some homework, as I appear to know a lot more about the system than he does & he appears to be 6 months behind the times at least.
        As an ex employee of the DWP I am horrified at what I have been seeing since Cameron appointed himself leader of this country. I am also disgusted that the onus to gather medical evidence is now on the claimant, when previous it was ALWAYS down to the DWP staff to collect and collate – which is common sense – this to me is a purposeful change purely to discourage people from getting what they need to verify their claims & for some people it will be really difficult and they will not understand what they need or what they have to do. Many will give up or be too confused by it.
        My greatest wish is that these evil monsters pay for the misery and mayhem they have caused to so many people – it will be a great day if they get to pay for their crimes against humanity.
        Yes, I was pleased to discover that I was far from alone in contacting the EHRC – many organisations and also the media have too I believe.

  8. Mike Sivier October 2, 2012 at 10:30 am - Reply

    That’s extremely encouraging about the EHRC review. As I say, I don’t know everything that’s going on so sometimes it’s necessary to get confirmation of exactly what IS happening.
    I also think your description of Mr Cameron as ‘The big C’ is most apt.

  9. kittysjones December 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Yes, there have been many that have contacted the EHRC….The EHRC, which was set up by Labour, has unfortunately had it’s funding halved since the Coalition came to office. This has meant a huge backlog of work, as they are now seriously understaffed. I don’t imagine for one moment that the severe budget cut was incidental, either.

  10. […] Vox Political reported back in September that Samuel Miller had contacted the International Criminal Court in The Hague, intending to file a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller, the ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions, considered most responsible for “draconian welfare reforms and the resultant deaths of their society’s most vulnerable”. […]

  11. […] Vox Political reported back in September that Samuel Miller had contacted the International Criminal Court in The Hague, intending to file a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller, the ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions, considered most responsible for “draconian welfare reforms and the resultant deaths of their society’s most vulnerable”. […]

  12. […] I received word of the cover-up last night, from Samuel Miller, the long-time friend of Vox Political who has been liaising with the United Nations about the Coalition government’s record on disability and incapacity benefits and the possibility that the Coalition is committing crimes against humanity. […]

  13. Michelle June 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    any updates on this as nothing much seems to be happening ?

    • Mike Sivier June 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm - Reply

      The court didn’t want to take action until ‘all domestic (that’s within the UK) avenues have been fully pursued’ or some such. Now that has been tried, to a certain extent, but I’m not sure that the results have been all that useful. Perhaps someone else can help.

  14. […] Vox Political reported back in September that Samuel Miller had contacted the International Criminal Court in The Hague, intending to file a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller, the ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions, considered most responsible for“draconian welfare reforms and the resultant deaths of their society’s most vulnerable”. […]

  15. Colin M. Taylor June 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Since Legal Aid has effectively been abolished, legal redress has been denied to all but those with the deepest pockets, certainly no disabled person could afford to bring an action so I would say that ‘Domestic avenues’ HAVE been exhausted

  16. Lloyd Kennedy June 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Well don’t hold your breath but the Hillsborough analogy is a good one . What would happen if the British public pressed the ICC on this ? This isn’t just going to go away but then Bush and Blair should be joining them if there were any justice . This article is two years old now so does anyone know what progress , if any , there is ?

    • Mike Sivier June 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm - Reply

      None. Samuel Miller is the man in the know, and he recently posted a very depressive update on the situation. I’ll put it up in the morning.

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