Independent living: a human right?
15 July 2011
This summer, the UK is required to submit its first periodic report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Disability Rights Convention) to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Joint Committee of Human Rights, chaired by Dr Hywel Francis MP, has been conducting an inquiry into the implementation of the right to independent living for disabled people, as guaranteed by Article 19, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This week the committee heard that:
- the Office of Disability Issues is working across Whitehall to implement Article 19 of the UN Convention with regard to independent living
- an important part of the independent living strategy was making it more widely recognised that this was not just about where a person lived but all the other parts of their lives as well
- local government is well placed to provide the joint-up approach needed to improve standards in social care, and this would continue with the introduction of Health and Wellbeing Boards
- personal budgets are good examples of cross-sector working, but funding cuts are making this more difficult and 78% of councils now had fair access to care criteria where they could only meet “substantial or critical needs”
- the public perception about what constitutes a disabled person is not always accurate
- key barriers to independent living faced by disabled people include difficulties obtaining information, communicating needs and resources available.