Shop RNIB Donate now

RNIB submits evidence for UN Committee monitoring disability rights

RNIB has provided evidence for a report which monitors how the UK is implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP).

An older man and a woman walk on a residential street.

The UN CRDP reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It was the first comprehensive human rights treaty this century, which the UK agreed to follow in 2009.

Around every five years, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reviews how well each state is putting the rights in the Convention into practice. An important part of this process is for disabled people’s organisations to express their views on how well the UK Government is fulfilling its obligations.

RNIB has submitted evidence for the report covering England, which is led by Inclusion London and supported by the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA).

Informed by the experiences of blind and partially sighted people and organisations we work with, our evidence included:

  • 63 percent of people with sight loss aged 75 and above do not use or have access to the internet (compared to a UK average of 52 percent for the same age group).
  • RNIB’s report into the UK elections in May 2021 (devolved nation, local and mayoral elections) showed that four in five blind people felt they were unable to vote both independently and in secret.
  • According to the Office for National Statistics, women who are disabled are more than twice as likely to be victims of domestic abuse and nearly twice as likely to be sexually assaulted compared to the general population.

The UK Government must do more to address these, and the other issues raised, to improve compliance with the Convention. 

"As disabled people we continue to face discrimination, and we have some way to go to ensure the UK is genuinely inclusive. Things are improving and this is in part due to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is a useful instrument we can use to promote the rights of disabled people."

Michael Wordingham, RNIB Policy Officer

Inclusion Scotland, Disability Wales, and Disability Action Northern Ireland are working on reports for their respective nations, and the full UK report will be published in March 2022.

You can read more about the report for the UN Committee, and the work being done to monitor the UK’s implementation of CRDP, on the Inclusion London and ROFA websites.