Press releases

Allfie highlights UK’s appalling disability rights record to the UN

Press release 21/08/2018

The Alliance for Inclusive Education raises the alarm on the UK government’s appalling disability rights record to the United Nations

The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) and other Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) from across the United Kingdom, will today attend the United Nations in Geneva to highlight the government’s ongoing human rights violations.

The UN Disability Committee is reviewing the UK’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, for the first time. The UK government ratified the Convention in 2009. DDPOs will tell the Committee that the government has ignored many of the questions put to it earlier this year as part of the review process. It will consider the government’s response to its questions and the DDPOs’ observations before quizzing representatives from the UK and devolved governments in Geneva later this week (23 and 24 August).

Referring to the government’s submission for the investigation, Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s Director said:

To date the government has produced no evidence to show how it is meeting its obligations to build a fully inclusive education system. In truth the Government has done everything that it can to reverse any progress towards inclusive education. The Government’s own statistics show that the numbers of Disabled pupils and students with Special Educational Needs in mainstream education has declined year on year since ratification of the Convention in 2009.

The Government is guilty of a blatant disregard for disabled people’s human rights in the UK and this week in Geneva we have a further opportunity to share with the UN Disability Committee updated information showing that the segregation of Disabled children and young people continues to rise and how the right of Disabled children and young people to be fully included in mainstream education with all necessary supports, is being systemically denied.”

The DDPOs will also point to the government’s failure to act on the recommendations of a separate inquiry report the committee published last December. The UN special inquiry, which was triggered by the DDPOs, concluded that:

“…there is reliable evidence that the threshold of grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities has been met in the State party.”

The DDPOs’ submission was co-produced by Reclaiming our Futures Alliance (including ALLFIE), Inclusion Scotland, People First Scotland, DRUK, Disability Wales, Disability Action Northern Ireland, British Deaf Association and Black Triangle.


Notes to editors:

  1.  The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities investigation is assessing what steps the UK has taken to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. The committee is a body of experts, nominated and elected by governments. The majority of committee members are disabled people.
  2. The committee postponed its scheduled assessment of the UK (originally due in 2015) to hold a special inquiry into complaints by DDPOs that the government’s welfare reform policies had violated disabled people’s rights. The current assessment looks at a much wider set of issues, including our laws on mental health and mental capacity, employment policies and education.
  3. Before examining UK and devolved government representatives on Wednesday and Thursday the committee will meet with representatives of DDPOs to discuss their views on the formal written response already tabled by the UK government. The DDPOs have prepared their own submission as highlighted above.
  4. A copy of the government’s response to the ‘List of Issues’ produced by the UN committee is available here:
  5. ROFA is an alliance of Disabled People and their organisations in England including Inclusion London, Equal Lives, Alliance for Inclusive Education, Sisters of Frida, National People First and Disabled People Against Cuts. For more information see:

Press/TV/Radio: Interviews with Tara Flood, Director, ALLFIE: 07932750667

For more information about ALLFIE