Scope and fellow disability charities handed in a 50,000-strong petition to 10 Downing Street yesterday, demanding that the government ratify a UN charter on disability rights in full.
Members of the UN Convention Campaign Coalition want ministers to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as soon as possible and without any reservations.
The convention obliges its members to root out disability discrimination, combat negative stereotypes, guarantee freedom from abuse and exploitation and promote equal rights for disabled people.
Ministers have signalled that they will ratify the convention before the end of the year.
But in a parliamentary statement in May, former disability minister Anne McGuire said that a number of government departments wanted to opt-out of aspects of the convention.
For instance, the Ministry of Defence has indicated that it wanted to enter an opt-out in respect of service in the armed forces, while the Department for Children, Schools and Families wanted a reservation regarding disabled children taught in special schools.
However, Scope chair Dr Alice Maynard said: “The overwhelming response we have received for our petition demonstrates the strong public support across the country for disabled people’s rights to be increased and the UN convention to be ratified without reservations.”
Human rights commission urges government to ratify disability treaty