The right of people with intellectual disabilities to vote and to stand for elections.
The right to vote and be elected is one of the most fundamental rights of all European citizens. It is about taking part in the political process, being included in society and having our voice heard.
“States Parties shall undertake to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected.”
Even though the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reaffirms the
right to vote and be elected for people with disabilities, there are still restrictions in the
European Union (EU), especially for people with intellectual disabilities.
Lack of accessibility measures and support to make this right effective are lacking too.
This report is a summary of findings done in collaboration with Inclusion Europe
members in 2019. It is updated with recent legal cases and developments.
Right to vote and to be elected
Since the 2014 EU elections, 6 Member States have abolished restrictions on the right
to vote for people with intellectual disabilities:
- France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Ireland and Slovakia.
Belgium and Czechia have changed their laws to end the automatic deprivation of voting rights for people under guardianship.
There are still around 800.000 people from 16 Member States deprived of their right to vote in the EU elections based on their disabilities.
See details in the report here (.pdf)
Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
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