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UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

Volume 542: debated on Thursday 22 March 2012

I have reviewed the reservation for immigration functions which the UK lodged to the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities when the UK ratified that convention in 2009, in line with a commitment provided by my predecessor.

After consideration of all relevant factors, and of the views expressed by corporate partners in response to the consultation that was a part of the review, I have decided the reservation should be retained. A summary of the responses to the consultation will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This decision was made because it was considered that the reservation remains necessary to safeguard our ability to apply immigration policies in accordance with existing immigration and equality legislation. The Equality Act permits differential treatment for specified immigration decisions if it is necessary for the public good.

I am aware this will not be welcome to all parties, and so I would like to explain the reasons. The reservation has been kept in order to retain the right to apply immigration rules, to avoid creating an unnecessary new avenue to challenge immigration decisions due to the optional protocol, and to preserve the right to safeguard the public purse from excessive demands which may be placed on it.