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Monday 17 February 2014

Emily Brothers, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam, has been visiting Norway to provide expert advice to other European blind people. Ms Brothers is supporting the establishment of an international network of champions to advance the rights of blind people.
Whilst visiting Hurdal, Norway, to advise the Rights Commission of the European Blind Union, Ms Brothers said:
“We are at a critical stage in making international obligations truly effective; to protect and promote the rights of blind and other disabled people.
“We have been under attack by the UK Coalition Government’s austerity measures, whilst the effects of the economic crisis have provided a real obstacle in addressing the rights of blind people at home and throughout Europe.
“Through the World Blind Union, I am seeking to support the establishment of a network of National Champions to meet the needs and aspirations of blind people.
“I want to contribute to our communities, as do so many disabled people, but we need the tools to do this effectively.”
Visiting Norway’s National Rehabilitation Centre, Ms Brothers said:
“I’m impressed by the support, facilities and range of activities in Norway.
“This reinforces for me the negative impact in the UK from service cuts, as there is no longer anything comparable in the UK and local provision is under increasing pressure.
“I’m mystified by the Coalition’s believe that disabled people can fulfil their potential at a time when they are cutting support.”
The Labour Government signed the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in June 2009 and the Optional Protocol on the complaints procedure in August 2009.
Emily Brothers is Expert Member to the Rights Commission of the European Blind Union.


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