An Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report exclusively obtained by the Guardian has revealed that one in five of the 14 million disabled people living in the UK are having their rights violated.

The UN last year criticised the UK’s “laws, regulations and practices that discriminate against persons with disabilities,” noting both the cumulative effect of Brexit causing funds to be pulled from grassroots operations which are funded by the EU, and the effect of austerity policies.

Speaking to the Guardian, David Isaac, chairman of the EHRC, said: “A year on, we have sadly seen little action or commitment to address the UN’s recommendations. Changes to our social security system and health and social care budgets make disabled people feel like second-class citizens and their rights to live independently have been impacted.

“Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living and the rights of disabled people must be made a priority if we are to have a fair and equal society.”

Brexit was highlighted by the report as a significant cause of hardship to disabled people, adding that disabled people are more heavily affected by welfare reforms and experience additional barriers to employment, including the disability wage gap.

In a statement to the newspaper, a government spokesperson said of the report:

“We’re committed to building a society which is fully inclusive of disabled people across every area of their lives, from transport and housing to healthcare and employment.”

“Our response to the UN sets out our progress over the last year, including the creation of a new inter-ministerial group on disability and society, which will drive progress against the implementation of the UN convention.”

Image: Flickr/Tom Rolfe

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