Today is Human Rights Day, with many organisations publicising the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it means.
The UK government is among those with a message to put out, including this – which is notable for coming from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
Everyone, everywhere, is born equal and free.
— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) December 10, 2017
Perhaps we should remind the Conservative government that the UK has failed to support 133 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 229 recommendations, on subjects ranging from the rights of children to the international law on abortion.
Among the recommendations that the government has declined to back, a number outline the need for the UK to limit how long someone can be held in an immigration detention centre. The UK is the only European country without such a time limit and Amber Rudd has fallen foul of the courts on several occasions for detaining people for far too long.
Britain has also declined to support recommendations on the detention of children in immigration centres.
Of a total of 229 recommendations by UN members, the government will confirm that it is supporting just 96 – 42% of the total. The government has chosen simply to “note” the remainder [Information from The Guardian].
And of course the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities found that the UK had committed “grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities” in the pursuit of the Conservative government’s so-called “welfare reforms”, as follows:
“Several measures have disproportionally and adversely affected the rights of persons with disabilities.
“Measures resulting in reduction of support provided to meet the extra cost of disability, denial of reasonable accommodation in assessment procedures and realization of the right to employment have had a discriminatory effect on persons with disabilities.
“The core elements of the rights to independent living and being included in the community, an adequate standard of living and social protection and their right to employment have been affected: persons with disabilities affected by policy changes have had their freedom of choice and control over their daily activities restricted, the extra cost of disability has been set aside and income protection has been curtailed as a result of benefit cuts, while the expected policy goal of achieving decent and stable employment is far from being attained.
“Evidence gathered nationally by the Parliament, the independent monitoring framework, universities and research institutes and centres and independent experts, has documented adverse and disproportionate effects of measures on persons with disabilities.
“The State party has not conducted a comprehensive human rights-based cumulative impact assessment even though reliable sources have indicated it is feasible.
“There is evidence that a large number of persons with disabilities have been affected (e.g. 13,900 persons with disabilities have lost their Motability schemes and therefore their adapted cars, upon implementation of Personal Independence Payment up to February 2016; 492,180 had been placed in the Employment and Support Allowance work-related activity group by end of 2015; 41,792 Employment and Support Allowance work-related activity group sanctions were handed out up to March 2014).”
Perhaps most damning of all:
“The impact assessments conducted by the State party prior to the implementation of several measures of its welfare reform expressly foresaw an adverse impact on persons with disabilities.”
“The State party continues its policy of reducing social benefits of persons with disabilities as reflected in the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016.”
Finally: The UK’s Conservative government very recently voted to remove EU legislation on human rights from the UK statute book.
So let us accept no preaching from the vicar’s daughter and her Tories on human rights…
They don’t want you to have any rights at all.
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