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We demand proactive EHRC on disability rights

12 July 2013

Disability Rights UK challenges the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to raise its game on disabled people's rights

Disabled people challenge the EHRC to raise its game on disabled people's equality in Britain. We have a public narrative that paints disabled people living in poverty as skivers  -when the reality is that disabled people are denied opportunity on a massive scale, being far more likely than other citizens to miss out on education, skills and work, and having much less choice over our day to day lives.   We do not see the Commission leading a transformation in this debate - as similar bodies in some countries have done.

We welcome the proposal for a strategic group made up of a majority of disabled people. But we worry that without statutory powers it will lack teeth. Where the commission has done useful pieces of work on disability equality - for instance very positive formal inquiries into social care and into hate crime and harassment - this has involved formal powers. Without those powers there are risks the new group might not be able to carry through its advice into action.

We welcome the appointment of Chris Holmes as disability commissioner and want to work with him to raise the profile and impact of work on disabled people's rights. We urge the Government to have a high level, strategic committee - which also has formal statutory powers.

To find out more about the EHRC  proposals go to www.equalityhumanrights.com/about-us/the-commissioners/disability-committee/independent-review-of-the-disability-committee/