Important Consultation for Disabled People: ‘Getting it Right? Human Rights in Scotland’ ~ Help put disability rights on top of our agenda!

Inclusion Scotland Glasgow People 1st Demonstration 1st October 2011

 

Getting it Right? Human Rights in Scotland

The SHRC would like individuals to respond to two questions that give you the opportunity to say what you think about the report’s findings, and about how you experience human rights (or otherwise) as a disabled person in Scotland.

The questions are:

1. Based on the evidence presented in the report Getting it right? Human rights in Scotland, or your own experience, what do you consider to be the most urgent human rights issues which should be addressed in Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights?

2. What specific and achievable actions do you consider would best address the concerns you identify in your response to question 1?

We encourage individuals to respond to these questions so that we can collectively tell the SHRC how we experience the issues highlighted in the report, if there are other issues not raised in it, and what could be done to improve human rights for disabled people in Scotland.

Your responses will help put disabled people’s rights at the top of the human rights agenda in Scotland.

Please pass your responses to the two questions to me as soon as possible and make sure disability is a key human rights issue as the SHRC moves forward with its action plan.

The human rights for disabled people identified in the report are:

– In spite of some improvements in the promotion of equalities, the report says that ‘disabled people appear to face a disproportionately high level of prejudice’.

– Access to information – disabled people and people with long term conditions experience varying and lower levels of access to internet (along with older people, people on lower incomes, and people with fewer educational qualifications) than the rest of the population.

– The research identifies issues in access to health care that disabled people face.

– Independent Living (article 19 of the United Nations Disability Convention) There has been some improvement in the implementation of the right to independent living in Scotland, through:

Co-production of independent living

De-institutionalisation

Moves towards Self-Directed Support and Personalisation

– But, concerns were raised about portability of care affecting disabled people’s human right to independent living; and about access to services.

– Access to education: disabled children face significant additional barriers due to inaccessible educational premises, policies and prejudicial attitudes

– Inclusive education – the right to education should include inclusive education but the report identifies differing opinions on what that should mean – mainstream adapted and supported education or special institutions for children with complex educational needs. Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are highlighted as being especially ‘vulnerable’ to losing their right to inclusive education.

– Access to and Fair Treatment at work: Disabled people and people with mental health conditions were included among groups who face particular discrimination in accessing work and in getting treated fairly in work.

– The report cites research which indicates that in the current economic climate hate crime appeared to be a growing concern in Scotland.

– The Adult Support and Protection Act is highlighted as positive move in the report in addressing abuse, but it also recognises that there are problems within this legislation for self-autonomy (the right to speak for oneself)

– Mixed access to mental health care in Scotland’s prisons

– The mental health and Treatment act is reported to have made some improvements to the rights of patients, but it cites other reports, such as from the Mental Welfare Commission, reporting patchy performance greographically in terms of standards of care and treatment, and continuing concerns about young people being detained in adult wards.

– The report identifies research that shows that disabled people – as well as other excluded groups- have poor experiences accessing justice. The research specifically highlights “physical access; access to legal advice; information and communication barriers; and attitudinal issues”.

Participate in shaping Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has published Getting it Right?

Human Rights in Scotland, a report summarising the findings of a three year scoping project. The report reveals that whilst Scotland has made notable progress, it can do better.

Scotland has a relatively strong legal and institutional framework for human rights, and some examples of positive strategy and policy directions in service delivery. However, the actual outcomes for people are often inconsistent, and there are other ‘gaps’ which should and can be filled.

The publication coincides with the launch of a participation process to help shape Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights.

The Action Plan will be a negotiated roadmap to address the gaps and replicate good practices in the realisation of human rights in Scotland.

National Action Plans for Human Rights are recommended by the United Nations and Council of Europe and have led to advances in the realisation of human rights in Nordic and Commonwealth countries.

The process in Scotland has received endorsements from the UN and Council of Europe Commissioners for Human Rights.

All of those with an interest in the promotion and protection of human rights in Scotland are invited to take part in an inclusive participation process in response to the following questions:

1. Based on the evidence presented in the report Getting it right? Human rights in Scotland, or your own experience, what do you consider to be the most urgent human rights issues which should be addressed in Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights?

2. What specific and achievable actions do you consider would best address the concerns you identify in your response to question 1?

You can read ‘Getting it Right?’ and take part in shaping Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights on our website:

www.scottishhumanrights.com/actionplan

All the best,

Pauline

Dr Pauline Nolan
Policy & Engagement Officer

Inclusion Scotland
Glasgow Office: 0141 221 7589
Edinburgh Office: 0131 555 6887
Email: pauline@inclusionscotland.org
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