Written evidence from People First (Self Advocacy) (COV0223)
What steps need to be taken to ensure that measures taken by the Government to address the COVID-19 pandemic are human rights compliant?
- Reconnect with grass-roots and Disabled People User Led Organisations.
- Give due consideration to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) when developing policy and making decisions.
- Look to existing collectives such as Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) and their National Independent Living Strategy for guidance and user led organisations and networks to inform policy and legislation.
- Support regulatory bodies and commissions such as Equalities and Human Rights Commissions to use their powers.
What will the impact of specific measures taken by Government to address the COVID-19 pandemic be on human rights in the UK?
- The use of language and labels has a regressive impact on the view society has on disabled people. For example ‘vulnerable’. Society and systems make us vulnerable. This means we are at greater risk of discrimination and oppression and having our human rights breached.
- Coronavirus Act 2020 and the changes to the Care Act puts people at greater risk now and potentially in the future due to the withdrawal of support.
- Creation of a hierarchical and exclusive health services where disabled people are unable to reach the criteria for treatment and support. For example, the use of the patient ‘frailty scale’ and the ‘Decision Support Tool’ that uses scoring on age, frailty and underlying conditions to decide which coronavirus patients should get critical care.
Which groups will be disproportionately affected by measures taken by the Government to address the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Disabled people are disproportionately affected as a result of the Coronavirus Act 2020 changes to the Care Act he delays in providing clear and accessible guidance, shortages of PPE equipment and the policies implemented in Care Homes has disproportionately affected disabled people.
- People who have the least resources and have low or no income. At the G20 in July the UN reported findings prepared by the economics department at Oxford about the impact of COVID on the poorest communities and countries and ‘severe consequences for the livelihoods and wellbeing of people’.
 Statement in Statement in Support of the Statement Covid-19 and the rights of Disabled People