Why the Human Rights Act Matters… for achieving a world that is Disability Positive
The Human Rights Act is important in making sure that disabled people can live well and is therefore also part of everything we do at Disability Positive, and to our vision of a world that is Disability Positive.
The act enables people to enforce their human rights in court and sets out human rights in a series of ‘articles’. Some of these are particularly relevant to disabled people’s lives.
Article 1: The right to life
Article 6: The Right to a Fair Trial. This gives you the right to an independent and impartial hearing of your case. This could protect people in benefits and social care assessments
Article 8: Protecting private or family life.
Article 14: The right to freedom from discrimination. This is only used where one of the other articles applies and you suffer discriminatory treatment.
Without the Human Rights Act, disabled people would lose a vital tool that protects our lives and give us the right to challenge.
The human rights act has been used many times to protect disabled people. T here are examples across all the articles in the act, such article 14 being used successfully to argue that Personal Independence Payment (PIP) mobility regulation changes were unlawful for those with psychological distress.
The past few years have seen disabled people’s rights threatened like never before. During COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked with other disabled people’s organisations to fight to make sure disabled people were able to access their social care, vaccines for themselves and their Personal Assistants (PAs) and to raise concerns about the use of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders.
Against this backdrop, it is vitally important that there is no reduction in the legal protection offered to disabled people to stand up for their rights. The Human Rights Act (1998) and Equality Act (2010) are both key to this.
Our vision is a world that is Disability Positive, but to achieve that, disabled people’s human rights must be protected as a minimum, if we are to live full, independent lives.