By: Daniella Jade Lowe
Ministers and commissioners are both important for ensuring fairness in human rights. They also reinforce diversity. They are appointed by the Queen. The UK has both.
However, the difference between a minister and a commissioner, is that a minister is a person who is commissioned by the government for public service, while a commissioner is a member of a committee.
The minister’s responsibilities include:
- responsibility for the departmental strategy on disability and disability employment
- cross-government responsibility for disabled people
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Disability Living Allowance and elements of Universal Credit that relate to disabled people, including severe disability premium
- work and health strategy including sponsorship of the joint Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Health and Social Care Work and Health Unit
- disability benefit reform
- devolution framework
- Carer’s Allowance
- future relations with the EU
- arms-length compensation schemes
The Commissioner conducts visits to help raise the standards of human rights protection in all Council of Europe member states, in accordance with his mandate.
Visits aim at pursuing a direct dialogue with the authorities and looking into one or several specific issues. The Commissioner is currently carrying out more targeted country visits focused on specific topics. A report may be published, containing conclusions and relevant recommendations to help redress shortcomings. Some of these reports may also relate to crisis situations and human rights in conflict areas.
Based on my research, I think it is more effective and beneficial to have a Disability Minister to help advocate for disability rights because their role is multifaceted and unrestricted. They have more legislative privileges.