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Sunday, August 17, 2014

I will be submitting a UN inquiry request into Britain's benefit-sanctioning regime, and I need your assistance

Ahead of the September meeting of the Human Rights Council (see third paragraph of, I will shortly submit an inquiry request to the CRPD and Human Rights Council, petitioning them to open an investigation into Britain's benefit-sanctioning regime. (At the request of Jorge Araya, UNCRPD Secretary, I am completing a bibliography of media articles on this subject, with particular focus on inappropriate sanctions.) You may already know my views on this matter:

My bibliographic assignment for the UNCRPD Secretary might be an indication that the UN has already opened an investigation into Britain's benefit-sanctioning regime, but for the sake of certainty I'll make that request myself.

In my opinion, there's enough compelling evidence (especially from MPs and the Work & Pensions Committee) to persuade the UN to open an investigation into Britain's benefit-sanctioning regime. (See, for instance:

 1) Stitching-up claimants is all part of the job, says Jobcentre insider - Ros Wynne Jones - Mirror Online

2) Former DWP Staff Set Up Website To Help Wrongly Sanctioned Jobseekers

3) MPs 'Lying' About Benefit Sanction Targets, Says Whistleblower

4) A selection of especially stupid benefit sanctions

5) Press release from Sheila Gilmore MP: Work and Pensions Committee member slams overuse of benefits sanctions

6) DWP target mental health claimants for ESA sanctions

But there are a couple of caveats. The first, as Jorge Araya, Secretary of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, points out: "Please be aware that most if not all of the human rights mechanisms cannot base their findings and recommendations solely on media reports."

The second is that the UN lacks the statutory power to enforce the UNCRPD, although legally bound signatories to this international law usually comply with its judgements. (In many countries, the UNCRPD becomes domestically operational when it is made part of a national legislation.)

I am looking for any news articles, Hansard transcripts, reports and studies, videos, Parliamentary debates, personal testimonies and correspondence (permissions may have to be obtained) which pertain to or mention benefit-sanctioning and inappropriate benefit-sanctioning.  My e-mail address is:

Thanking you in advance for any assistance.

Samuel Miller

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