Carers' Rights are Human Rights

It’s Carers’ Rights Day tomorrow.
In theory carers have rights specific to the role, but it’s very hard for me to begin even to discuss them without sounding totally cynical.
I’m getting this out of my system before resuming a positive attitude - and as I'm always keen to stress, I am one of the lucky ones, a winner in the postcode lottery with access to services and specialist support. But it shouldn't be down to postcodes or being lucky. Carers' rights are human rights, wherever you live. 

We have a right to act on behalf of the person we’re caring for, in their best interests.
We have a right to be acknowledged for our work.
We have a right to be recognised for our contribution to the economy.
We have a right to support from our employers, should we be able to combine employment with our caring role.

But - 
As unpaid carers for people we love, we fall between the cracks of services and state. 
We don’t have the right to claim holiday or sick leave from our caring responsibilities, or the right to any NHS exemptions despite the known effects of caring on health and wellbeing.
We don’t have the right to a living wage or even an allowance in line with Job Seekers’ Allowance (just let’s not even talk about Universal Credit)
We don’t have the right to earn more than £120 a week, should we somehow find time to work alongside our caring role.
We have a right to an assessment “health check” from the local authority, but most local authorities lack the capacity to do this, so it doesn't happen.
We don’t have the right to support services unless we live in the right area. Even then, we don’t have the right for those services to recognise our role or make it easier to access their help.

According to a report by Gov. uk on carers’ experience in 2016,
What comes through time and time again is that services are fragmented, inconsistent and information not helpfully shared between statutory organisations.”
This report was designed to feed into a Carers’ Strategy, headed then by a pre-Brexit social care minister (it scarcely matters whom, as they seem to change before the ink has dried on the letterhead, yet very little has changed since then to improve the situation for carers.)

We should have the right to be heard when we ask the government for support and solutions in line with social and economic reform, yet they don’t seem to be listening. Caring is still seen as a “choice”.
Yet social care, as we all know, is in increasing crisis and for many of us there is simply no alternative.
I'm frustrated and fed up and angry. Like most other carers I can sound off to anyone who'll listen but find it hard to do much more than that because I'm too involved in the task in hand - yes, the situation badly needs to change but my brother needs me right now and there are only so many hours in a day. 

Thank goodness then for Matt and his campaign to appeal for carers' rights and for a change in the way they are recognised by the state. This affects the whole social care system - unpaid carers are that important to the status quo.
Please, whether you are reading this as a carer or if you know anyone who cares for a relative or friend, please do add your signature to this petition. Help us to appeal for a change. 
There is strength in numbers.

An Appeal forChange: