Direct and indirect discrimination, financial disadvantages and social isolation are the main reasons that persons with intellectual disability and their families are more vulnerable than others to social exclusion. This is a reality in all Member States of the European Union as well as in accession countries. Therefore it is crucial to recognise that the fight against social exclusion and poverty in Europe, namely the EU2020 Strategy, must also focus on disabled people and on their families.
Inclusion Europe wants this fact to be considered and taken into account in all activities against poverty and social exclusion at European, national and local levels. Combating social exclusion is firstly the responsibility of States and their national, regional and local authorities. Civil society and especially NGOs also have an important role to play. The nature of the response to social exclusion and poverty depends particularly on the nature of national social protection systems and social policies.
To underpin these demands, Inclusion Europe has undertaken a study on Poverty and Intellectual Disability in Europe. The results, as well as those of the Global Study “Hear our Voices” undertaken by Inclusion International on the same subject, show clearly the economic disadvantages of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
More and better inclusive employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities can obviously be part of a solution. The members of Inclusion Europe have adopted a Position Paper on this issue that outlines our core demands. Also the annual conference Europe in Action 2012 focuses on this question.
Inclusion and full participation in political and public life are other aspects of the work against social exclusion and poverty. A Position Paper as well as several projects are focusing on these issues.