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Hft statement on the UN Committee’s observations on UK disability rights
Hft statement on the UN Committee’s observations on UK disability rights

Hft Press Releases

Hft statement on the UN Committee’s observations on UK disability rights

Published: 01/09/17

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has today (31st August) published its concluding observations on the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Billy Davis, Public Affairs & Policy Manager at Hft, who attended the hearings in Geneva along with two people supported by the charity, commented: “The Committee’s concluding remarks into their report on the UK Government makes for interesting, if troubling, reading. The fact that this is the longest list of recommendations in the Committee’s history is a testament to the hard work of DDPOs and other stakeholder groups, as well as the UK Government’s engagement with the Committee.

Hft welcomes the Committee’s recommendations under Article 19 – the right to live independently and being included in the community. Through our It Doesn’t Add Up campaign, Hft has submitted written evidence to the Committee warning that the budget cuts for local authorities are hindering their ability to properly fund social care, which in turn is limiting the freedom of choice of those being supported by the sector.

We are pleased to see that this has been reflected by the Committee in their observations that existing legislation ‘fails to recognise living independently and being included in the community as a human right which enshrines individual autonomy, control and choice; as intrinsic aspects of the right to independent living’. 

We are also delighted that access to public facilities and discrimination against people with disabilities when accessing housing, which were concerns raised by the people we support who attended the hearing in Geneva , have been included in the final remarks.

In its concluding remarks, the Committee has made clear how austerity policies have negatively impacted on the lives of adults with learning disabilities and those who support them. We urge the Government to rise to the challenges set by the Committee and ensure that some of the most vulnerable adults in society are able to enjoy their full rights under the Convention and are free to live their best life possible.

The UK Government now has 12 months to implement three of the committee’s recommendations, including ‘ensuring sufficient budget allocation for local authorities to accomplish their responsibilities regarding for assistance for persons with disabilities’. Hft will monitor the Government’s progress with great interest and we look forward to offering suggestions for a sustainable funding solution for the social care sector.”  

Hft team at UN convention

Notes to editors

For further information please contact: Suzanne Fry, PR & Media Manager, on 0117 906 1755 or For media enquiries outside of office hours please call 0117 906 1697

About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centered support across all its services. 

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft please visit

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently


Subject: Services
Location: National