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Non human?! / 19 May 2008

It’s official, according to the UK Government, Disabled people are not really Human!

Some of you will probably have seen a copy of the press statement put out by the United Nations Convention Campaign Coalition (UNCCC) referring to the apparent reversal by Gordon Brown’s Government regarding the UK’s involvement with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The UNCCC is a coalition of 22 Disabled people’s and disability organisations campaigning to ensure that the UK Government ratifies the CRPD without reservations. You’ll remember that I mentioned in this blog about the Convention coming into force back on the 3rd of May.
Despite his many faults Tony Blair wanted to see the CRPD happen. Brown however clearly does not, and has back pedaled on some of the more important rights embedded in the CRPD. Last December, Anne McGuire, the Minister for Disabled People, made it plain that there would be reservations tabled before the UK could ratify. She’s now issued a statement outlining those reservations.

In a nut shell, the UK Government is saying loud and clear that there are certain violations against Disabled people that they should be allowed to perpetrate for ever. These include:

  • Still being allowed to place Disabled people into residential accommodation - despite evidence that has shown that we are often abused and have no real choice and control over our lives in these places.
  • Continuing to provide segregated education away from home and friends - despite the mounting evidence that fully supports inclusive education as the only way that Disabled children can attain some sort of equality.
  • Reserving the right for Disabled people to have liberty of movement, nationality and immigration.

Therefore, despite the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the Life Chances Report and promises of full equality for Disabled people by 2025, the Government has decided that we Crips are only fit to receive some rights – not the general inalienable, indivisible and comprehensive rights that are due to other non-disabled people.

What’s so ironic is that for five years the UK Government worked hard at the United Nations in New York and took a leading role within the European Delegation to ensure that the CRPD was written and approved. Anne McGuire, as a representative of the UK Government was among the first signatories.

Rachel Kachaje, a Disabled member of the UNCCC says in the press release:
“Apparently the present UK Government does not share a view of the full humanity of Disabled people”. In other words she’s saying that the UK Government doesn’t believe we are human!

For further information about the UNCCC you can contact either Richard Rieser by email at or Rachel Hurst at