Category: UN Investigation

Video – Sir Philip Alston Presents the Preliminary Findings of His Investigation Into the UK

Sir Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Poverty and Human Rights presented his preliminary findings briefing on the 16th November 2018 in london on his special investigation to Poverty and Human Rights in the UK.

You can watch a recording here

Sir Philip Alston Presents the Preliminary Findings of His Investigation Into the UK

Sir Philip Alston’s United Nations visit to investigate poverty and disability abuses in the UK has come to an end.

In conclusion to an article for Disability News Service “UN expert tells of disabled people’s ‘horrendous’ evidence on poverty” he said

““What has to be recognised is that being in poverty is a grave threat to your civil and political rights.

“Most of the people [in the world]who are tortured, most of the people who are killed, most of the people who are abused in prisons or elsewhere are poor. They are abused in part because they are poor.

“They are easy victims, they don’t have recourse, they don’t have people to defend them, they can’t afford lawyers.

“Attacking the poor is easy, and they as a result suffer highly disproportionately in terms of their civil and political rights.”

Alston and his team carried out months of detailed research in advance of their 12-day visit, which saw them visit Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Jaywick, London, and Newcastle.

He is set to issue a preliminary 10-page statement tomorrow (Friday) before publishing his final report in June.”

I think we all wait with interest to see whether his report in June has any teeth.




The United Nations Investigation Into Poverty and Disabilities in the UK – Part 3

Part 2 was about Accessibility, today talk about yesterday’s Autumn Budget here in the UK, aka “Austerity is over”

Behind the facade of the headline announcements, nothing really changed for those in poverty.

A bit of money here, a bit of money there.

Tax allowances increased, mainly for the benefit of higher rate taxpayers.

Most people living in poverty do not earn enough to pay tax anyway.

In January 2017, Oxfam stated Just 8 men own same wealth as half the world

In January 2018, Oxfam stated Richest 1 percent bagged 82 percent of wealth created last year – poorest half of humanity got nothing

Putting this in to some sort of context reader, if as is claimed that 1% of the world’s population will own 99% of the worlds money by around 2035, how will poverty ever be eradicated.

With all the uncertainty of Brexit, it was an opportunity missed to right some of the social injustices.

£2bn for Mental Health crisis teams, why on earth can they not spend the money on support and services which would reduce the number of people reaching a crisis.

It is the same for Dementia, the medical model of healthcare, lets you get to a crisis point before intervening, leading to restraint, safeguarding and involuntary care.

Being a bit cynical reader, I wonder if it was just another part of the smokescreen billowing over the injustices and rights abuses in the UK prior to Sir Philip Alstons investigation on behalf of the United Nations.

The United Nations Investigation Into Poverty and Disabilities in the UK – Part 2

Part 1 was a general look at inequality and rights abuses. Today is the turn of accessability.

The Equality Act 2010, gives everyone with a disability the right to reasonable adjustments, or at least it should do.

Barriers to accessing buildings and transport are still an issues in 21st Century Britain.

Reasonable Adjustments, Public Building access, the 6 inch gap ans the Rejected Amendment

Train Companies that issue guidance not to delay a train if a disabled person needs assistance getting onto a train or having disabling policies.

Rail staff told not to help disabled passengers board if it makes train late Read more: Twitter: | Facebook:

Anger as wheelchair users left unable to ride trains on major route

Train company faces calls to rip up scooter policy after latest ‘shameful’ episode

Government repeatedly ignores its own advisers on ‘toxic’ train access

Even so called Benefit assessment centres may have stairs or Intercoms unreachable by a person with a disability or in a wheelchair.

Lack of wheelchair access or access to a wheelchair.

I’ve been told to wait three years for a wheelchair that ‘can go outside’

In a wheelchair and want your benefits? You’ll need to take the stairs

There is a lot of talk but not a lot of action on inequality and rights abuses.

Part 3 looks at the Autumn Budget.











The United Nations Investigation Into Poverty and Disabilities in the UK – Part 1

November sees the arrival of Sir Philip Alston in London to begin The United Nations Investigation Into Poverty and Disabilities in the UK.

The UK Government recognises the UN conventions as International Law but still, they are all not incorporated into UK Law including The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

It is reported that by around 2030, 1% of the world’s population will own 99% of the worlds money, if that is true, how will we ever eradicate poverty.

Disadvantaged groups trapped in poverty and excluded from society …

“Britain is a divided nation as the poor are increasingly trapped in poverty and excluded from mainstream society because of their social status, the human rights watchdog has warned.”

Disability News Service has published three articles this month:

Watchdogs’ concern over government refusal to act on UN rights reports

“Four equality and human rights watchdogs have heavily criticised the government for its failure to address the serious concerns raised in a “damning” UN report on the rights of disabled people across the UK.

Ministers ‘failing to uphold a UN disability convention they do not understand’

“Government ministers are failing to uphold the rights of disabled people, ignoring the need to engage with disabled people’s organisations, and do not understand the UN’s disability convention, according to a new report.

Disability inequality is widening and risks becoming ‘entrenched’, says EHRC

“Disabled people are becoming increasingly excluded in many areas of their lives and are in danger of becoming “trapped in disadvantage”, a major report by the equality and human rights watchdog has concluded.”

In “Mental Health Today” Unfair British care: racial inequality in mental health underlined in EHRC report

“The extent to which mental health care is failing black patients has been laid bare in the latest state of the nation report compiled by the Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC).”

Taunted, abused and bullied – Disabled people in Norwich share their experiences of hate crime

“Norfolk and Suffolk have the highest proportion of hate crimes linked to disabilities in the country. Nicky Barrell speaks to those facing the impact of the crimes.”

Health and Social Care of Older People is a Human Rights Issue

“The independent healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission recently warned that disjointed health and social care services in England are placing increasing pressure on A&E departments. As pressure grows on the country’s health and care system, what does this mean for the human rights of older people?”

These are just a few examples of where the so called Civil Society and the UK Government have failed to rectify poverty and disability rights in the UK.

Anyone can find themselves living in poverty or with a disability.

Losing a job, an accident or a diagnosis of a condition is all it takes.

These things don’t discriminate as governments and society do.

The Government talked alot about Civil Society in July at the Global Disability Summit, I wonder if the Chancellor will do anything to reduce the financial inequalities in next weeks Budget and increase social care funding?

The devil will be in the detail. Whether the Budget or sir Philip Alston’s report will have any teeth time will tell.

The next part looks at accessibility