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Publication - Report

Consultation on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD): analysis of responses

Published: 18 Nov 2016
Part of:
Communities and third sector, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781786525642

Presents a summary of the analysis from the consultation on our Draft Delivery Plan for 2016 to 2020 on the UNCRPD.

220 page PDF

1.3MB

220 page PDF

1.3MB

Contents
Consultation on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD): analysis of responses
7. Outcome 4 - Equal and inclusive access to the justice system without fear of being unfairly judged or punished, and with protection of personal and private rights

220 page PDF

1.3MB

7. Outcome 4 - Equal and inclusive access to the justice system without fear of being unfairly judged or punished, and with protection of personal and private rights

There were six commitments included under Outcome 4. Consultees were asked if they agreed or disagreed that these commitments would help the Scottish Government make progress towards Outcome 4.

Q12: Do you agree or disagree that the commitments (49-54) described at Section 2.4 will help the Scottish Government make progress towards outcome 4?

Sixty-six consultees responded to this question, the majority of whom agreed that these commitments would help the government make progress towards Outcome 4. Eighty per cent agreed, 3% disagreed and 17% said that they neither agreed nor disagreed.

Q13: If you would like to make specific comments on any of the commitments intended to contribute to achieving outcome 4, please do so here. If not please skip to next question.

Table 58, below, shows the number of comments received for each commitment. Commitment 50, encouraging reporting of hate crimes against disabled people, received the most comments (23), whilst commitment 53, about developing and delivering a 'pilot' improvement project focusing on preventing and removing disability hate crime from society, received the least comments (15).

Table 58: number of comments for each of the outcome 4 commitments

Commitment (Outcome 4) No. of comments received
49. Review of legal aid contributions for disabled people 17
50. Encourage reporting of hate crimes against disabled people 23
51. Accessible information 19
52. Accessibility of sites and services 18
53. Develop and deliver a 'pilot' improvement project focusing on preventing and removing disability hate crime from society 15
54. Engage with DPOs to explore extent of violence against disabled women and girls, in the context of our ambitions under Equally Safe 19

Civil Law and Legal System

Commitment 49 Review of legal aid contributions for disabled people

49. Review of legal aid contributions for disabled people - the Scottish Government will work with partners to identify negative impacts on disabled people of the current legal aid framework for contributions and develop options for change. Consideration of the options by Ministers may be followed by a change to legislation. (2016 onwards)

Consultees were generally supportive of this commitment. They identified issues which they felt acted as barriers to accessing justice, and made proposals that they thought the review should also consider. The necessity for engagement and inclusive communication was highlighted. Table 59, below, shows the key themes identified.

Table 59: themes identified for commitment 49

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Generally supportive 8
Barriers to accessing justice 6
Review should also consider the following: 4
Engagement and inclusive communication 4
Other 5

Barriers to accessing justice

Consultees highlighted issues which they believed acted as barriers to accessing justice. Concerns were raised about the lack of legal assistance for children including disabled children. Comments were made relating to changes to regulations in January 2011 which changed the way that a child is assessed for civil and children's legal assistance. It was noted that "since the change in the regulations, the numbers of children applying to the Scottish Legal Aid Board for legal aid to be granted has fallen considerably" (Inclusion Scotland). Concerns were also raised about the lack of independent advocacy and specialist advice for disabled people; the need to address physical barriers to accessing legal aid; and that certain benefits, for example, DLA and PIP do not qualify as passported benefits for advice and assistance.

"This commitment should take into account the concerns raised by Together in its NGO report to the UN regarding the increasing limits placed on children's access to legal aid."

Third sector / equality organisation - Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights)

"Certain benefits are a passport benefits for Advice and Assistance. However, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment do not qualify as passported benefits for Advice and Assistance. Therefore, disabled people who are working will still have to pay towards going to court. This is despite the fact that disabled people in work experience higher levels of poverty than non-disabled people due to the additional costs associated with their impairment/s."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Review should also consider the following:

Consultees raised other issues which they believed should be looked at as part of the review. It was suggested that a wider perspective should be taken of the review of legal aid and its implications for disabled people. It was also suggested that fees should be removed for Equality Act/discrimination cases.

"We recommend that the review take a broader view of the impact of legal aid changes on people with disabilities. The issue of contributions specific to people with disabilities is only one piece of the overall impact. General reductions of the legal aid budget are likely to have a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities and the cumulative impact of all changes to the legal budget must therefore be factored into the review."

Third sector / equality organisation - Equality Human Rights Commission and Scottish Human Rights Commission

Engagement and inclusive communication

The importance of engaging with disabled people and DPOs was emphasised, as was the necessity for inclusive communication and taking account of the particular needs of people with communication support needs, such as allowing extra time in meetings and providing BSL support. It was also observed that young people with speech language and communication needs are more likely to be both offenders and victims, and that therefore any changes to legal aid would disproportionately affect those with communication support needs.

"We recommend that the Scottish Government ensure that disabled people and their organisations are involved with this review and in the development of 'options for change'."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

"Consistently studies have shown 60% of young offenders have [speech language and communication] SLC needs and that people with communication support needs are known to be at greater risk of harm ( i.e. being victims) than other people… They are also more likely to have difficulty accessing information required in order to utilise services and experience negative communication within the criminal justice system. Given [the] above the review of legal aid contributions could helpfully consider the disproportionate impact of changes to legal aid on people with communication support needs."

Academic or Research Institute - Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Criminal Justice

Commitment 50 Encourage reporting of hate crimes against disabled people

50. Encourage reporting of hate crimes against disabled people - the seven main criminal justice organisations have committed to work together for future publicity campaigns, to encourage disabled people to report hate crimes and provide reassurance that a report will be taken seriously by these organisations. (2016 onwards)

Consultees were generally supportive of this commitment. It was believed that there was a need for education about and awareness of hate crime across all sectors of society. Consultees commented on the support required to report hate crime. Some commented that disabled people didn't believe that current hate crime legislation worked and that a lack of trust in the police led to lower levels of reporting. The necessity for engagement with disabled people and inclusive communication were emphasised. Table 60, below, shows the key themes identified.

Table 60: themes identified for commitment 50

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Generally supportive 14
Education about and awareness of hate crime 21
Support required for reporting hate crime 15
Low levels of 7
Engagement 3
Recording of hate crime 3
Inclusive communication 2
Other 4

Generally supportive

Consultees were generally supportive of this commitment.

"The impact that hate crime can have on an individual disabled person simply cannot be overstated. Hate crime can destroy lives and it must be challenged head on. For this reason, Leonard Cheshire Disability supports any attempt to encourage more disabled people to come forward and report hate crime."

Third sector / equality organisation - Leonard Cheshire Disability

Education about and awareness of hate crime

Education and awareness raising was seen as key by the majority of consultees. In addition to awareness raising about hate crime, awareness raising about disability more generally was also mentioned, so as to challenge stereotypes and increase understanding about disability. It was believed that such education, particularly from an early age, would have a positive impact on hate crime.

"Our participants supported the idea that a large publicity campaign dispelling myths and led by disabled people, including in schools, might do more to prevent hate crimes. It may make some difference if this is done in addition to a pilot project encouraging people to report hate crimes."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Consultees believed that children should learn about disability and the issue of hate crime as part of their school education and also links should be made between bullying and hate crime.

"A holistic approach needs to be taken to encourage the reporting of hate crime against disabled children and young people. Many disabled children and young people do not recognise when a hate crime is being committed. Some do not have confidence that any action will be taken if they do report a hate crime. More links need to be made between bullying behaviour in schools and hate crime, whilst also recognising that not all disabled children and young people will be in mainstream education."

Third sector / equality organisation - Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights)

It was stated that awareness raising amongst disabled people, disabled children and young people, and those with learning disabilities or hidden disabilities, was also required, focusing on: what hate crime is; that hate crime is not behaviour that disabled people should be expected to tolerate; how to report it; and what will happen when it is reported.

"Through our research in this area we have found that people with learning disabilities are not always aware that systematic violence and harassment is in fact not tolerated by society or that this is a hate crime. As such it is essential that information is made available to support people with learning disabilities to recognize and report hate crime."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory

Awareness raising and education amongst the general public was also seen as important, to reduce stigma and raise awareness around the impacts of hate crime.

"Attention needs to be given, however, to educating the public and on-going work around reducing the stigma attached to certain disabilities - e.g. mental health problems which are not so easily recognisable both by the public and by professionals."

Representative body for professionals - Social Work Scotland Ltd

Better training for professionals who may deal with the victims of hate crime, (such as staff in the police, NHS, and social work) about how to better support those victims was suggested.

"In general it was agreed that more disability awareness and equality training is required broadly across the justice sector and the Police force, to be delivered directly by disabled people".

Third sector / equality organisation - Third sector / equality organisation

Support required for reporting hate crime

Consultees commented on the support required for disabled people who report a hate crime. It was believed that more support was needed, and that better promotion of the support currently available, such as third party reporting of hate crimes, was required. It was also commented that reporting processes should be kept as simple as possible, and that consideration should be given as to how people with complex communication needs can communicate what they have experienced. The need for BSL support was also mentioned. The use of a disability harassment toolkit was mentioned, as was a good example of hate crime mitigation, where bus drivers were trained to support passengers who experienced hate crime.

"I am pleased to see that Police Scotland is encouraging third party reporting around hate crime and being proactive about doing so. In many cases - and particularly for young disabled people, victims/witnesses of Hate Crime do not feel comfortable speaking directly to the Police"

Public Body - Children and Young People's Commissioner

"Many people choose not to report hate crime because they don't feel confident in doing so. We believe that there should be further investment in support services for disabled people who experience hate crime in order to that they feel empowered to report their experiences."

Third sector / equality organisation - Leonard Cheshire Disability

"One example of good practice around hate crime mitigation has been training bus drivers in how to support someone who has experienced hate crime on the bus - i.e. helping them to gather details of an incident (bus route, time etc.) and sign-posting."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Low levels of reporting

Reasons behind or low levels of reporting of hate crime were commented on. In addition to poor awareness of what hate crime is and difficulties associated with reporting hate crime, consultees reported that low levels of reporting were down to a lack of trust in the police and a feeling that current hate crime legislation does not work. It was suggested that more needed to be done to help restore disabled people's confidence in the police, such as more engagement between the police and disabled people's organisations and increased community police visibility.

"There is a historic distrust of the police amongst disabled people in Scotland and a perception among disabled people that the Police cannot do anything. Some of the disabled people we consulted informed us that they were either scared of reporting hate crimes or did not feel able to report them. For example, one consultee told us that they had a bad previous experience of reporting a hate crime to the police and this incident put them off reporting anything again. In addition, our participants believe that there is not currently enough support to report a hate crime, meaning that awareness of third party reporting centres and other initiatives is low."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

"We welcome measures aimed at encouraging disabled people to report hate crime. The Hate Crime in Scotland 2013-14 report highlighted that there had been a 12% increase in disability aggravated offences. Moreover, Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC has previously stated that disabled people are not reporting hate crimes because they lack confidence in the police."

Third sector / equality organisation - HIV Scotland & NAT (National AIDS Trust)

"A group of our participants suggested that disabled people's trust in the police needs to be restored. One approach suggested is more community engagement by Police Scotland is needed. One way of implementing this would be to have a local Police Constable for different communities who disabled people can get to know and trust."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Engagement

The importance of engagement and co-production with disabled people and DPOs was emphasised.

"Any campaigns launched should ensure meaningful consultation and participation of those with disabilities."

Third sector / equality organisation - Saving Down syndrome

Recording of hate crime

It was suggested that better recording of hate crime and better information sharing was needed, and in particular that better recording was needed around incidents where there might be multiple factors involved, such as hate crime against LGBTI disabled people. It was suggested that participants in the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey should be specifically asked about disability hate crime.

"Hate crime with multiple aggravations ( e.g. perceived to be because of disability and LGB/T) is not being recorded according to LGB/T organisations, and there is a paucity of data on the incidence of multiple aggravations because the data is separated in annual reports. LGBT disabled people that we consulted with felt this: that despite the increase in reporting of homophobic hate crime, they still felt at risk. They felt that Police Scotland is not taking transgender crime seriously. One man with learning disability said that he felt it was worse for him because he is more likely to be harassed for being both gay and disabled. This has been well evidenced."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Inclusive communication

The importance of inclusive communication was highlighted. This was felt to be particularly important in relation to any publicity campaign around hate crime, as it was mentioned that people with communication support needs or learning disabilities tend to be at greater risk of harm.

"Given the evidence that people with communication support needs are known to be at greater risk of harm ( i.e. being victims of abuse) than other people it would be helpful if the anticipated publicity campaign on hate crime could helpfully implement an inclusive communication standard."

Academic or Research Institute - Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Other

It was observed that a holistic approach to understanding hate crime is required, and that hate crime should not be seen as an isolated event but rather as part of wider inequality experienced by disabled people.

"We recommend that a holistic approach be taken and as such hate crime be recognised as much more than a self-contained experience but one that intersects and is interwoven with multiple forms of inequalities faced by disabled people and in particular people with learning disabilities; such as health inequalities, poverty, social stigma and discrimination and pervasive forms of exclusion that often leave people with learning disabilities and people with autism invisible and unable to voice their experiences."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory

Commitment 51 Accessible information

51. Accessible information - the seven main criminal justice organisations will convert their main communication publications into alternative formats including Easy Read versions. An online secure website to provide case information for victims and witnesses will be developed by the Scottish Government as part of the Digital Strategy. (2016 onwards)

Consultees who commented on this commitment were generally supportive. It was commented, however, that current formats with legal terminology were inaccessible. Consultees suggested that this commitment should be taken further, and suggestions were made both for how information should be provided, for example in BSL, and the type of information that should be made accessible. Examples of current good practice were referred to. It was noted, however, that not all disabled people have access to the internet, and that putting something online does not necessarily make it accessible. Table 61, below, shows the key themes highlighted.

Table 61: themes identified for commitment 51

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Generally supportive 14
Expand commitment 14
Examples of current good practice 4
Internet access 2

Generally supportive

Consultees who commented on this commitment were generally supportive of it, whilst noting that current formats and legal terminology often made information inaccessible.

"Disabled people we consulted agreed that justice information should be available in Easy Read and plain English. The current format of the information with legal terminology makes it inaccessible to most disabled people. In addition, our disabled participants told us that the information should be provided in British Sign Language ( BSL)."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

"On a daily basis many people are excluded due to information not being available in an alternative format. Public bodies do not routinely prepare information in a format that is either initially accessible or in a format that can be easily adapted. The provision of easy read versions is welcomed."

Individual

Expand commitment

Consultees wanted to expand this commitment to include wider approaches to communicating information, and also to expand the type of information which is made available in accessible formats. These approaches included: BSL; communication that is accessible to people with learning disabilities and communication support needs; paper forms should be as user-friendly as possible; websites should be as easy to navigate as possible; and support should be provided to help people be aware of and understand information provided.

"This is a welcome commitment. RCSLT would recommend inclusive communication approaches to information provision go beyond Easy Read. Although helpful to some with communication support needs Easy Read varies in quality and inclusivity in respect of many groups of people with communication support needs. [Speech and language therapists] SLTs on a day to day basis implement quality inclusive communication approaches on justice and other services. This otherwise welcome "Accessible Information" commitment could helpfully be extended to reflect a broader inclusive communication standard."

Academic or Research Institute - Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

"We welcome the commitment to providing accessible information across the criminal justice organisations and consider that this should also encompass the provision of support, where required, to be made aware of and to understand such information".

Academic or Research Institute - Centre for Mental Health and Incapacity Law, Rights and Policy - Edinburgh Napier University

The type of information that was requested in an accessible format included: case information, information for those involved in the criminal justice system; information relating to civil matters; and information on forced marriage and female genital mutilation ( FGM).

Examples of current good practice

Some consultees provided examples of good practice where work had been undertaken, or was on-going, to make information more accessible.

"The Criminal Justice Disability Advisory Group has taken forward much work already in the area of inclusive communication / accessible information. At national conferences over the last year, representatives from Police Scotland the Scottish Prison Service have described good practice examples of how they provide accessible information. There is much to be applauded and Sense Scotland welcomes this commitment to continued work in this area."

Third sector / equality organisation - Sense Scotland

"[Scottish Courts Tribunal Service] SCTS is currently in the process of converting main communication publications into Easy Read and are aware of the future commitments to British Sign Language ( BSL)."

Public Body - Scottish Courts Tribunal Service

Internet access

It was emphasised, however, that not all disabled people have access to the internet. Uploading information online, therefore, does not automatically make it accessible. In addition, more work may need to be done around digital inclusion, and supporting disabled people to use the internet.

"Simply putting information online does not make it accessible to all disabled people as a significant proportion of us do not have access to the internet for a variety of reasons."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

"We agree that information and services need to be as accessible as they can and that we must consider how best to support people to access these. Digital inclusion initiatives must consider the needs of people with disabilities to ensure they are given appropriate skills and support."

Public Body - Social Work, Dundee City Council

Commitment 52 Accessibility of sites and services

52. Accessibility of sites and services - the seven main criminal justice organisations will do site audits of their buildings on assistive services available and identify any physical access barriers. This information will be available through the internet site of each organisation. Recommendations for improvements will be considered by each organisation. (2016 onwards)

Although there was some agreement with this commitment, there was also a strong belief that it could go further, and needed to consider barriers beyond wheelchair access. The training of staff was viewed as an important part of making services more accessible. The importance of engagement with disabled people and DPOs and inclusive communication were also commented on. Table 62, below, shows the key themes identified. .

Table 62: themes identified for commitment 52

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Generally supportive 9
Need to expand and consider a wide range of barriers 18
Training of staff 3
Examples of good practice 3
Engagement 2
Inclusive communication 2

Need to expand and consider a wide range of barriers

Whilst there was support for this commitment, there was also a belief that it did not go far enough, and that it should be expanded beyond wheelchair access to include consideration of a variety of other barriers to access to sites and services, such as signage; lighting; lifts; ramps; electronic displays or visual methods of communication to complement audio name calling systems; hearing loops; acoustics; BSL provision; inclusive communication needs; and attitudinal barriers.

"However our members feel that site audits to determine physical accessibility of sites and services do not go far enough and justice organisations should seek to identify all access barriers including communication and attitudinal barriers. Respondents are concerned that a focus on physical access barriers may prevent other access barriers from being removed for disabled people - e.g. acoustics, lighting, signage appropriate for those with sensory impairments or access barriers for people with mental health problems."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Disability Equality Forum

The necessity of confidentiality was emphasised. A lack of confidentiality could provide a barrier to a person with an unseen disability, such as HIV. It was also commented that lack of confidentiality could also be a significant risk for those who have been subject to domestic or honour based violence.

"In addition to ensuring physical access to sites and services, the Scottish Government should also give consideration to ensuring that the particular needs of other disabled people are taken into account. For example it is essential that persons involved in courts proceedings are aware of the sensitivities around disclosure of HIV should a person with HIV be attending a session, irrespective if they are a witness, victim of a crime or the accused. Such measures would include maintaining the confidentiality of a person's HIV status, and ensuring their status was not disclosed during proceedings where it was not directly relevant to the case."

Third sector / equality organisation - HIV Scotland & NAT (National AIDS Trust)

It was also suggested that more support should be given to help disabled people access digital technology.

Training of staff

Staff training around disability awareness, inclusive communication, and an awareness of potential sensitivities was seen as an important part of making sites and services more accessible.

Examples of good practice

Some examples were given of work already being undertaken to make sites and services more accessible.

"Our Inclusive Design Advisor works with various departments to ensure that our sites and services are as accessible as they can be."

Local government - East Ayrshire Council

"[Scottish Courts Tribunal Service] SCTS accessibility audits are currently underway and accessibility reports will be published in an user friendly format on the SCTS website in due course."

Public Body - Scottish Courts Tribunal Service

Engagement

It was suggested that disabled people and DPOs should be involved in conducting site audits, as they have relevant knowledge and expertise.

"We further recommend that DPO's and Access Panels could be approached to do site audits. They have the expertise on the access barriers in buildings disabled people with a range of impairments face, and experience in providing these audits in localities where courts are based."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Inclusive communication

The importance of inclusive communication was highlighted, and it was believed that communication access should be given equal priority with physical access.

"Sense Scotland knows of some work within the justice system to take seriously the Principle of Inclusive Communication which states that physical and communication accessibility are equally important. We welcome a continued focus in this area."

Third sector / equality organisation - Sense Scotland

Disability Hate Crime

Commitment 53 Develop and deliver a 'pilot' improvement project focusing on preventing and removing disability hate crime from society

53. We will work with a local authority in Scotland to develop and deliver a 'pilot' improvement project focusing on preventing and removing disability hate crime from society. This will involve a range of local partners and build on existing knowledge of what works whilst testing out approaches in localities. The lessons learned will be used to inform practice in other parts of Scotland. (Development 2016 and delivery up to 2020)

Most consultees who commented were supportive of this commitment, but there were some who were critical, feeling that this did not go far enough. The importance of engagement and inclusive communication was also highlighted. Table 63, below, shows the key themes highlighted.

Table 63 themes identified for commitment 53

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Generally supportive 11
Wider issues around hate crime 4
Engagement 4
Expanding the evidence base 4
Inclusive communication 1
Critical comments 3

Generally supportive

Consultees were generally supportive of this commitment.

"This commitment has the potential to increase understanding of actions which can reduce disability hate crime, share best practice and improve practice."

Local government - Stirling Council

"We would welcome the local pilot improvement project and any work to bring the message to disabled people, particularly those with learning disability that hate crimes are not examples of behaviour they simply have to put up with."

Third sector / equality organisation - Capability Scotland

Wider issues around hate crime

Some wider issues around hate crime were raised. These included: adopting a holistic approach that looks at why disabled people might be likely to suffer hate crime; tackling negative attitudes towards disabled people; linking the pilot with other campaigns; and covering cross-cutting issues such as gender and cultural issues and disability. There was also a comment about considering how hate crimes are recorded, as disabled people are not homogeneous group.

"It is also essential that improving and preventing hate crime must also take into account why hate crimes against disabled people take place. In order to address this we support the adoption of a holistic, evidence based approach that recognises and highlights the multiple and intersecting ways in which disabled people, and people with learning disabilities, experience inequalities that produce and make more likely the experience of hate crime and disablist violence."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory

"Disabled people we consulted were broadly supportive of a pilot project with people with learning disabilities on combatting disability hate crime. However, some expressed that this would not necessarily change the poor attitudes that exist."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Engagement

Engagement with stakeholders, such as disabled people and DPOs was seen as important, and it was mentioned that disabled people should be involved in co-producing this pilot project. It was stated that disabled people should be actively involved throughout the pilot, including in the evaluation process.

"The Scottish Government should ensure that disabled people have the opportunity to participate and shape this pilot project. Moreover, disabled people should be involved within the evaluation process to identify what impact, if any, has been made following the project."

Third sector / equality organisation - HIV Scotland & NAT (National AIDS Trust)

"The Observatory supports any commitment to preventing disability hate crime. It is essential that any improvement projects work with and in partnership with people with learning disabilities and their representative organisations to ensure that the particular effects of learning disability hate crime are acknowledged and addressed."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory

Expanding the evidence base

It was stated that this pilot should be evidenced based, taking into account existing evidence on what works and sharing best practice, along with the need for it to be evaluated to demonstrate its impact. There were also comments about evidence based ideas that consultees wished to develop.

"Similarly any improvement projects should be evidence based and engage with research that has been previously undertaken by organisations researching hate crime across the protected categories."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory

"There are currently some successful projects working to tackle disability hate crime. For example, in Northern Ireland, Leonard Cheshire Disability runs the 'Be Safe Stay Safe' project which helps disabled people feel safer in their homes and in their communities, through delivering disability hate awareness training and advocacy to disabled people, their carers their families and friends. We have so far worked with over 11 000 people on the project. We believe that a similar training programme in Scotland would help prevent disability hate crime and we would welcome an opportunity to share our learning from the 'Be Safe, Stay Safe' project with the Scottish Government."

Third sector / equality organisation - Leonard Cheshire Disability

Inclusive communication

It was emphasised that the pilot should incorporate inclusive communication given the higher risk of harm for those with communication needs.

Critical comments

Those who were critical believed that this commitment did not go sufficiently far, and that a national project, rather than a pilot scheme, was required. It was also questioned whether local authorities were best placed to run such a pilot.

"A number of respondents questioned the use of a pilot scheme rather than a national effort to prevent disability hate crime and were also unsure that local authorities should be delivering such a project."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Disability Equality Forum

Violence against Disabled Women and Girls

Commitment 54 Engage with DPOs to explore extent of violence against disabled women and girls, in the context of our ambitions under Equally Safe

54. We will engage with disabled people's organisations to explore the extent of violence against disabled women and girls, in the context of our ambitions under Equally Safe - Scotland's strategy to prevent and remove from society all forms of violence against women and girls. (2016-20)

Whilst consultees were generally supportive of this commitment about violence against disabled women and girls, there were a number who were critical. The most common criticism was the belief that the commitment should not just focus on women and girls as men and boys also experience violence. Comments were made relating to the service provision requirements needed to support disabled women who have experienced violence, and also emphasising the specific needs of certain groups of women. Specific types of violence were also referred to. Table 64, below, shows the key themes highlighted.

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Generally supportive 8
Service provision requirements to support disabled women who have experienced violence 7
Consideration of the needs of certain types of women 5
Specific types of violence mentioned 3
Critical comments 6
Other 2

Table 64 themes identified for commitment 54

Service provision requirements to support disabled women who have experienced violence

Reference was made to the type of service provision required to support disabled people who have experienced violence. These comments related both to the services themselves, and also to the training and attitude of staff towards disabled women. It was suggested that support services such as refuges should be made more accessible; more support is required for women reporting violence; and that there is a need for women-only services for disabled women. It was also believed that there was a need for equality training for service providers; that service

providers should listen to disabled women and take their concerns seriously; and that there is a need for the correct diagnosis of injuries, rather than a presumption that injuries occurred as a result of the person's impairment.

"It was suggested that disabled women need to be able to access support at the time of reporting violence and to continue to receive support after the event. Moreover, the emergency resources such as shelters, need to be able to meet the needs of disabled women with any impairments. Inclusion Scotland has already been working with Women's Aid Scotland and People First Scotland to co-produce, with women with learning disabilities, training for Women's Aid staff on removing the barriers to accessing their services."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

"Many women's organizations and disabled people's organizations have services or groups specifically for disabled women which disabled women find very beneficial."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

Consideration of the needs of certain types of women

It was suggested that the needs of certain groups of women should be taken into account, such as women with learning disabilities, women with communication needs, and women who are D/deaf. The importance of inclusive communication and BSL provision was also emphasised. The needs of women prisoners were also mentioned.

"Research being undertaken by the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory has found that women with learning disabilities, in particular and to a greater extent than other disabled women, are at greater risk of interpersonal, sexual and domestic violence (Hollomotz 2009). It is also apparent that women and girls with learning disabilities are more likely to be prevented from reporting violence as it is often perpetrated by a partner, carer or supporter. We fully support the exploration of this serious and devastating experience and urge the Delivery Plan to, again, ensure that the particularities of women with learning disabilities' experiences be represented, taking into account the multiple and intersecting forms of inequality that can perpetuate violence against women with learning disabilities."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory

Specific types of violence mentioned

Specific types of violence mentioned included sexual exploitation and the risk of honour based violence, including forced marriage. Women with learning difficulties were consider to be at particular risk of such violence.

Critical comments

The main criticism was a belief that the commitment should not just focus on women and girls, but should also include men and boys, as they too can be victims of violence. Another consultee wanted a focus on preventative strategies such as education around what is right and wrong in a relationship, so that people will understand what constitutes abuse.

Other

Other comments included a local authority providing an example of good practice in terms of its Violence Against Women Partnership, and a comment that there should be a wider public understanding around the issues affecting disabled women.

Q14: Are there any additional commitments and/or ways that you would improve the outcome 4 commitments that you have not already mentioned in your answers above?

Thirty-eight consultees responded to this question. Where a comment clearly fitted with a specific commitment, it was themed as part of the response to that commitment, rather than as part of question 14.

Some consultees said that they were supportive of the commitments, and some made comments about the implementation of the commitments. However the vast majority of the comments (40) related to additional commitments that consultees believed would improve the Outcome 4 commitments. Table 65, below, shows the key themes identified.

Table 65 themes identified for question 14

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Supportive of these commitments 5
Commitments to add/areas to focus more on 40
Implementation 3
Other 4

Supportive of these commitments

Some consultees commented that they were supportive of the commitments outlined under Outcome 4.

"In relation to access to justice the commitments shown are positive and may help achieve many issues which face disabled people."

Individual

" ILF Scotland agree that the commitments above will assist with equal and inclusive access to the justice system."

Third sector / equality organisation - Independent Living Fund Scotland

Commitments to add/areas to focus more on

Most comments related to commitments that consultees wanted to add to this outcome, or areas that they felt should be given more focus within the outcome. The most commonly asked for additional commitments related to specific disabilities (11), followed by commitments about service provision (9).

The Scottish Disability Equality Forum provided a list of commitments that they would like to see included under Outcome 4:

"Our involvement with the Justice and Disability Steering Group in 2009 led to us to suggesting the following commitments from the Scottish Government to improve access to justice for disabled people. Those which have not yet been explicitly addressed by the draft plan are included below as our suggestions for improve the outcome 4 commitments: The Scottish Government should provide additional funding for SLAB to provide legal aid to disabled people taking Disability Discrimination cases. The Law Society should work with the Scottish Government to explore the provision of disability legal advice centres. The Scottish Government should consider awarding funding for a disability mediation/conciliation services. The Scottish Government should consider awarding more funding for disability advocacy services for all disabled people not just those with learning disability and mental health problems. The Scottish Government should remove the exclusion of BSL user from Jury duty. The Scottish Court Service should examine the rules on exemption for jury duty and ensure that reasonable adjustments are made so that if a disabled person wants to take part in jury duty they can. Justice sector organisations should provide disability equality training to all staff delivered by disabled people in order to change attitudes and challenge assumptions. Justice sector organisations should provide disability equality training to all staff delivered by disabled trainers. This should include Deaf awareness and mental health awareness and be tailored to the specific organisation and the role of the delegates. Justice sector organisations should consider carrying out an awareness raising campaign about the rights of disabled people in line with the Disability Equality Duty requirement to promote disability equality."

Third sector / equality organisation - Scottish Disability Equality Forum

The following list sets out the key areas where commitments were asked for:

  • commitments relating to specific disabilities (11)
  • commitments around services (9)
  • commitments around children and young people (5)
  • commitments around disability equality training for the legal/justice staff (5)
  • preventative strategies such as education (4)
  • commitments around legislation (2)
  • other commitments (4)

Specific commitments were called for relating to the following disabilities: people with mental health problems, people with learning disabilities, D/deaf people, people with Alzheimer's and people with HIV.

There were calls to support people with mental impairments when reporting crimes, and also calls for better forensic mental health facilities for those with mental health problems who had offended. There was a comment about determining the use and effectiveness of special measures for victims and witnesses with learning disabilities and for more to be done in court to support victims and witnesses with learning disabilities. There were calls for the provision of better interpretation services for D/deaf people who were witnesses, victims or accused of a crime, and also calls for a commitment to make reasonable adjustments which would allow D/deaf people to sit on juries. There was also a call to ensure that people with Alzheimer's have equal access to justice. It was observed that the commitments did not cover key areas of justice, such as police and prisons, which are an area of concern for those with HIV who require access to HIV treatment in those settings and it was thought that key areas of the justice system such as the police and prison services should be considered in the final delivery plan.

"Research has shown that disabled victims of crime often have difficulties reporting incidents (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2009). Barriers to reporting and recording crime should be addressed by training police and other agencies in how to support people with mental disabilities to disclose incidents and to navigate the criminal justice system. A commitment should be made to making the criminal justice system more accessible for people with mental disabilities."

Academic or Research Institute - Centre for Mental Health and Incapacity Law, Rights and Policy - Edinburgh Napier University

"It has been reported that 14% of Scotland's prison population has a history of psychiatric disorder (Scottish Prison Service, 2007) and that approximately 4.5% have a 'severe and enduring' form of mental illness ( HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, 2008). As a significant proportion of the prison population is affected by mental health issues, it is suggested that the Delivery Plan should include a commitment to providing greater resources to forensic mental health services, including improving access to therapy and increasing the availability of mental health nurses (Mental Welfare Commission, 2011)."

Academic or Research Institute - Centre for Mental Health and Incapacity Law, Rights and Policy - Edinburgh Napier University

"The current commitments contained in this section would do little to address these needs or bring about improvements in the justice system for people living with HIV. In addition, when reviewing the accessibility of sites and services, there are no commitments relevant to key areas of the justice system such as prisons or the police. We know for example that people living with HIV can face real difficulties accessing HIV treatment in these settings and so would like commitments in these areas to be included in the final delivery plan."

Third sector / equality organisation - HIV Scotland & NAT (National AIDS Trust)

Additional commitments were also called for around services provided within the legal system such as: appropriate adult services; funding for disability law centres; additional funding for the Scottish legal Aid Board ( SLAB) for disability discrimination cases; and the provision of advocacy and mediation services for disabled people.

"We would also suggest a progressive new commitment within the Delivery Plan which considers staff training and the provision of 'appropriate adult' services; particularly in the context of the implementation of Criminal Justice Act 2015. This would be a helpful addition, and would complement the existing work of the Criminal Justice Disability Advisory Group."

Third sector / equality organisation - Capability Scotland

"Disabled people have agreed that a national Disability Law Centre is required as well as local high quality disability law advice. Disabled people we consulted enthusiastically supported a single commitment to improving access to justice immeasurably would be a committed and independently funded Disability Law Centre. One participant explained that specialities in family law, immigration law and corporate law etc. already exist. She said that having legal representation from specialist lawyers in disability discrimination would give equality for disabled people."

Third sector / equality organisation - Inclusion Scotland

It was believed that there should be increased focus on children and young people within the justice system, as it was observed that disabled children and young people face additional barriers in accessing the justice system. It was suggested that a CRWIA be carried out on all the Outcome 4 commitments to see their impact on children and young people.

"In order to strengthen the outcome 4 commitments for disabled children and young people, a Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment ( CRWIA) should be used to predict, monitor, strengthen or if necessary, avoid, the impact of each commitment on disabled children and young people. This would help to identify where further commitments are necessary, or existing commitments should be amended, in order to fulfil the government's obligations under the UNCRPD for disabled children and young people. Disabled children and young people face additional challenges to accessing justice, such as a lack of accessible information on how to seek justice and particularly for children with communication needs. Facing complex laws and legal systems designed for adults as well as the substantial barrier in accessing legal assistance reflects the need for outcome 4 to focus on the rights of disabled children and young people, who face additional barriers to adults in seeking redress when their rights have been violated."

Third sector / equality organisation - Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights)

There were calls for a commitment around disability/equality training for staff working in justice.

"Additional commitment on training for legal system personnel. The Scottish Government should consider a commitment to supporting measures to ensure that legal system personnel who interact with persons with disabilities involved in court proceedings are appropriately trained. An initiative of this nature was launched in England and Wales in 2013, which aims to change criminal justice practitioners' approaches to vulnerable witnesses, however, we understand that there is no parallel in Scotland as yet."

Third sector / equality organisation - Equality Human Rights Commission and Scottish Human Rights Commission

Comments were made about the need for preventative strategies such as developing awareness and education, which might help to prevent crime, including hate crime, by teaching people to accept and include people with disabilities, and educating people on acceptable boundaries within the law.

"We think that in addition there should be a commitment to developing awareness and education at an early age so that young people grow up with a clear understanding of how to include and engage with people with disabilities including those with complex needs and no verbal communication. In our experience people with PMLD are often excluded not intentionally but because people do not know how to engage. Working with young people together with the most complex people will support a change in culture and attitudes."

Academic or Research Institute - PAMIS

"People with disabilities can also be perpetrators. With regards to sexual health, sexualised behaviour can manifest itself because children or adults have never been taught about The Law, consent, boundaries, appropriate behaviour etc… Without Education, how do people know what is right or wrong? If they are abusing someone? If they are being abused? What a healthy relationship is? Where to get help?"

Public Body - NHS Forth Valley (Women and Children's Sexual Health)

Around legislation, there were calls for a commitment to introduce an Independent Living Act, and a commitment to review the application for incapacity legislation.

"In addition and complementing the above, LCiL also strongly believe that an Independent Living Act would strengthen the ambition of Scottish Government for a fairer Scotland and enable disabled people to empower themselves so that they can participate In their communities as full citizens of Scotland."

Third sector / equality organisation - Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living ( LCiL)

"In addition we would support a commitment to review the application of incapacity legislation in Scotland. This review should give careful consideration to the use of supported decision making as an alternative to more formal interventions, favouring the least restrictive appropriate option in line with the principles of the UNCRPD. The comparison between ILF Scotland requirements in relation to fund management and LA requirements for Direct Payment management have informed this recommendation."

Third sector / equality organisation - Independent Living Fund Scotland

Other comments relating to strengthening or adding to the commitments included: calls to include civil justice, as well as criminal justice; calls for a campaign within the justice sector promoting awareness of rights of disabled people; and the need to consider the human rights of D/deaf prisoners.

"We believe the 'Key Objectives' should address access to civil justice (including tribunals) as well as criminal justice, and the commitments should include measures to improve access to justice in the broadest sense, including provision of information and advice, and strategic legal services."

Public Body - Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

Implementation

A few comments were made about the implementation of the Outcome 4 commitments: a suggestion to use a whole systems approach; and a suggestion to build on existing work around diversions. One consultee expressed concerns around local authority implementation of commitments.

Other

A concern was raised about a conflict between human rights, including the rights of the unborn child, and pre-natal screening for foetal abnormalities. There was also a comment welcoming the proposal to consult on raising the age of criminal consent in Scotland from 8 to 12.


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