Laura Sharman 13 March 2019

Grenfell residents had human rights breached, watchdog warns

The residents of Grenfell Tower had their human rights breached by the council and public services before the fire started, a watchdog has warned.

In its report, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said resident’s right to life and adequate housing were breached as authorities had failed to ban the unsafe cladding before the tragic fire.

The watchdog also said the safety of disabled people and the elderly was overlooked when they were housed on the top floors of the building, and safety notices were only given out in English.

It adds that authorities are continuing to breach Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights as more than 300 high-rise buildings in the UK are still wrapped in the now banned combustible cladding.

David Isaac, chair of EHRC, said: 'Everyone has the right to life and the right to safe, adequate housing, but the residents of Grenfell Tower were tragically let down by public bodies that had a duty to protect them.

'It is our hope that the Grenfell Inquiry finds this information relevant and useful as they continue with their work, but we also need to see action taken by public bodies so we never see a repeat of this tragedy.'

The report calls for the removal of combustible cladding from hundreds of other buildings, improved training on combatting cladding fires and additional protective measure to meet the needs of particularly vulnerable people.

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