ELECTION 2015: UKIP refuses to back right to life, mobility, freedom from torture…


UKIP has refused to back key parts of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), including disabled people’s right to life, and their right to freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse.

The UKIP manifesto says the party supports article 19 of the convention, which outlines the “equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others”.

But the party’s disability spokeswoman, Star Etheridge (pictured), herself a wheelchair-user, this week refused to say whether UKIP backs any part of the convention other than article 19.

These other articles include key rights such as the right to personal mobility; the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and the right to access to justice.

Other rights that UKIP has been unable to support include the right to respect for privacy; and the right to liberty of movement and nationality.

Following attempts last week to clarify the party’s position, DNS has this week contacted Etheridge several more times, as well as asking the party’s press office to comment.

Etheridge, who is standing for election in Wolverhampton North East, told DNS on Twitter this week: “It’s simple, we support article 19, is that not good enough? It’s a UN Convention more important than EU!”

When asked again whether UKIP supported any articles except 19, she tweeted: “I’ve told you it’s on the manifesto that is what we’ve said & that’s the end of it. It’s in written there for all to see.”

Neither Etheridge nor the UKIP press office would comment further.

Linda Burnip, a member of the steering group of Disabled People Against Cuts, said she had “no idea” whether UKIP supported any UNCRPD articles apart from article 19 because they had “persistently refused to answer that question”.

She said: “It serves to reinforce our views that UKIP are not serious about supporting disabled people’s human rights.”

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