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Stop Failing the Human Rights of People with Learning Disabilities

This week we have seen evidence that the human rights of people with learning disabilities are repeatedly denied. Every person we hear about who has had their human rights denied and suffers abuse, segregation, and maltreatment fills us with deep sadness and outrage. What compounds this outrage is this is not shocking news. How many times do we have to hear this? How many more people need to suffer?

On Monday 20th May the Children’s Commissioner launched the report “Far Less Than They Deserve” This report shone light on young people with learning disabilities or autism being detained for excessive periods of time experiencing overly restrictive interventions.

Tuesday saw the launch of CQC’s interim report on restraint. This highlighted people with learning disabilities being segregated in secure care and experiencing restraints from untrained support staff.

Tuesday also saw the publication of the Learning Disability Mortality Review that highlighted decisions not to attempt resuscitation for people with learning disabilities were being made simply because people have a learning disability. People with learning disabilities are dying 20-30 years younger than average making a learning disability a life limiting condition!

Tonight (Wednesday) we have seen BBC Panorama Undercover Hospital Abuse Scandal which has again showed people with learning disabilities in a hospital setting being abused, inappropriately restrained, and treated inhumanely.

These issues highlight that people with learning disabilities are systemically being treated as less than human. They are repeatedly denied their human rights and treated as less than 2nd class citizens. Whilst this continues this abuse, neglect, maltreatment, and harm will continue and it continues in all settings. We need to safeguard the human rights of people with learning disabilities. Again we are saying, we need to stop these stories from happening. It is time to address the real cause.

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