Able2UK Losers

Labour admit they won’t implement disability rights pledge

Vicky Foxcroft

Labour has been forced to admit they will not introduce the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) into law if they win the next general election.

Vicky Foxcroft, the party’s shadow minister for disabled people, made the announcement after concerns were raised that the pledge was not included in Labour’s policy documents.

Labour’s National Policy Forum (NPF) report, which forms the party’s general election manifesto, only states to the party honouring its “commitments” to the convention and ensuring that its “principles are reflected across government”.

Omitting the disability rights pledge could see disabled people losing their rights to inclusive education, an adequate standard of living and freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Foxcroft has promised on numerous occasions Labour would implement the convention into law if Labour go into power.

She told Disability News Service: “the wording in the NPF is the wording at the moment.”

The NPF states: “We will honour our commitments to the United Nations’ Convention for the Rights of Disabled People and ensure its principles are reflected across government to create policies which remove barriers to equality and focus on disabled people’s representation at all levels of government.”

Foxcroft, pictured above, added: “We’ve still got time until the next [election].

“I think it’s one of those where in government you have to hold us to account in terms of whether we are actually committed to it.”

But when she was challenged by DNS to whether Labour would bring the convention into UK law, she said: “It doesn’t say that at the moment.”

Incorporating the convention into law would give disabled people authority to use the legal system to defend their rights and policy-making processes would have to follow the convention.

Rick Burgess, from Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), joined protesters outside the Labour annual Conference on Tuesday.

He said implementing the convention into UK law would “lift everything to a higher level of rights-based policy-making.”

Burgess continued: “It’s particularly important with Labour because they did have a commitment to bring it into law and they seem to have dropped that.

“Between now and the election we have to try and get a promise that we can hold them to, that they will bring it into law.”

[ Disabled People Against Cuts said they would support Labour if the party implement the convention into UK law. ]

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