End segregation

Belonging. Our new plan to end segregation of people with intellectual disabilities.

End segregation

Belonging. Our new plan to end segregation of people with intellectual disabilities.


People with intellectual disabilities and their family members still face segregation, and discrimination. 

Their rights are being denied on daily basis. 

They cannot live the lives they want. 

  • People with intellectual disabilities, and people with complex support needs, are most likely to be institutionalised! They are also being left behind in institutions when others get support to move out into the community. 
  • Most students with intellectual disabilities must go to segregated schools. Many cannot go to school at all! 
  • Only small number of people with intellectual disabilities have proper jobs! 
  • People with intellectual disabilities are even prevented from voting (.pdf) in more than half of the European Union countries! 

End segregation - Soufiane El Amrani for Inclusion Europe

Inclusion Europe wants segregation of people with intellectual disabilities to end by 2030! 


With our members, other disability organisations, activists, and experts we fight for Europe where people with intellectual disabilities enjoy equal rights, and participate fully in all aspects of life.

  • Where they can decide about their lives, including in elections, not being deprived of this basic right by legal capacity laws.
  • Where they live and have support in the community, not being segregated and institutionalised.
  • Where they go to mainstream schools, have jobs and are respected in their social roles, are not kept apart from others, left without proper education or future.

Join us, as we intensify our work to help all people with intellectual disabilities to realise our shared ambitions: Of living in your own place. Having friends. Making your own choices. Being good at something. Belonging. 

Deinstitutionalisation means ensuring people are in full control of their life

“Live a life of your own, get education and experience, get a job with proper money” – Paul Alford
Paul Alford talks about his journey to become an independent-living person with an intellectual disability.
“No institution can replace a proper family”, self-advocate tells Europe in Action conference
Kudlicka is a Czech self-advocate who talks about his experience in moving out of an institution and becoming independent-living in the community.
“Now I support others to get out of institutions”
Elisabeta Moldovan's speech at the opening session of our Europe in Action to End Segregation conference, 7 September 2022 in Brussels.
Finally my life is what I want it to be – Easy to read
Story from Petr Laník who lived in an institution.
Inclusion Europe published a new edition of “Europe for us” for 2022 – Easy to read Magazine
Europe for us is our newsletter for self-advocates. It is written in easy-to-read.
Living freely and being members of communities like everyone else – László Bercse for End Segregation campaign
Inclusion Europe interviewed László Bercse, as part of the End Segregation campaign.

Let people make their own decisions!


The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) clearly states that “persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life”.

Inclusion Europe wants countries to change their law so that people with intellectual disabilities no longer have full guardianship. Instead of that they should have supported decision-making. Supported decision-making means that people with intellectual disabilities have someone who supports them in making decisions. With supported decision-making people with intellectual disabilities can keep their rights.

Legal capacity

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities introduced the legal recognition of universal legal capacity in its Article 12:

How denying legal capacity impacts on life of people with intellectual disabilities – series of reports

To show the importance of having the right to decide about one’s own life, we made reports on various aspects of legal capacity.

We fight for Europe where people with intellectual disabilities enjoy the same rights as everyone else

Jyrki Pinomaa talks about: What EU does for people with disabilities; Covid impact; Education; Employment; Deinstitutionalisation; Inclusion Europe work and plans

Inclusion cannot be a “good practice” lottery. It is a right, and it must become the norm in our societies.


Institutionalisation happens in places where people are treated in groups (based on disability, for example), away from others, their lives directed not by own wishes and needs, but by the institution’s rules and protocols.

  • Segregated institutional support must be replaced with support that helps each and every person to be part of the world around them: be part of a family, have friends, have a job, be good at something. To belong.
  • There must be proper support for families too, so they don’t have to “choose” between dedicating all energy to one member, or removing them into an institution. With the right support, families can be just that – families. Not full-time carers, therapists, administrators, organisers.

Universal solutions don’t exist – universal principles do: People seek human connections, stability. That must be the guiding principle of any support system. Independence and inclusion are achieved by respecting each and every person’s needs and providing a spectrum of individualised support (.docx).

People leaving institutions need support establishing relations, learning about outside world and dealing with the consequences of institutionalisation (including support to cope with abuse they experienced in the institution).

It is important to give people living in institutions good information and support about transition to community

Inclusion Europe president Jyrki Pinomaa writes about his recent visit to Czechia, where Jyrki was leading a workshop for parents.

Having a job means having freedom to make your own choices and to control your own life.

With the majority of people with intellectual disabilities being unemployed, it is important to raise awareness on the importance of offering jobs to them and changing their lives for the better.

“We should not just build new houses. We need to build an inclusive society”

László Bercse took part in the “Belonging” conference organised by Inclusion International and AKIM Israel.

There are still over 1,400,000 people living in institutions in the EU.


The 2020 Report on the Transition from Institutional Care to Community-Based Services in 27 EU Member States marks 10 years since the publication of the first report addressing the issues linked to institutional care reforms and to find solutions for more humane, person-centred and individualised models of care.

The report presents these key findings:

  • the number of people in institutions does not seem to have substantially changed over the past 10 years;
  • the number of children in residential care has slightly decreased, with them moving to live with their families, being fostered, adopted, or reaching majority and therefore leaving residential care for children;
  • in all the 27 EU countries, people are living in residential care, with only a small number of it being primarily small-scale and community-based, e.g. dispersed among ordinary housing in the general community. Small-scale residential services still represent a minority of the care settings in most of the 27 EU countries;
  • in many countries, and especially those who started the process of deinstitutionalisation some time ago persons with intellectual disabilities and people with complex support needs are most likely to still live in institutional settings.

Deinstitutionalisation is the key to a more inclusive Europe

Bryndís SNÆBJÖRNSDÓTTIR Vice-President of Inclusion Europe wrote an article about how does a more inclusive Europe look like, how can we achieve a more inclusive Europe and how do civil society organisations contribute to a more inclusive Europe.

Helena Dalli: “Unfortunately, many people still think that institutions are safe places. This is simply not true”

At the “Towards Inclusion” conference, the Commissioner for Equality found strong words against institutionalisation. EPSA member Elisabeta Moldovan talked about her experiences growing up in institutions.

Soufiane El Amrani: Self-advocates tell the UN we want institutions closed

On December 3rd, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Inclusion Europe co-hosted an event with Inclusion International. Soufiane El Amrani gave a speech about deinstitutionalisation.

Deinstitutionalisations means fighting for an independent life – ETR

On April 11th Inclusion Europe’s director Milan Šveřepa went to Romania to talk at a conference on deinstitutionalisation.

“My biggest fear is that I will be put back into an institution” – ETR

It is very hard to talk about violence against women.It is hard because the women think that no one will believe them.

“Deinstitutionalisation means that people decide about their own life” – ETR

Our director Milan Šveřepa spent 2 days in Croatia where they recently closed 4 institutions.

Why people with intellectual disabilities should get the right to vote – ETR

In some countries people under guardianship are not allowed to vote.
Here are 5 reasons why this is wrong.

“For me it is very important to vote at the European elections” – ETR

We want to tell other people that people with intellectual disabilities are like everyone else. And they should have the right to vote.

We must considered as persons, not just subjects of political decisions. We are people, we are European citizens too!

László Bercse about “What kind of Europe do we want  and how can we achieve it?”

It is really important to have strong self-advocacy groups – Easy to read

We had 93 registrations for the events and 71 attendees.

“Inclusion has no limits, the limits are only in our heads!” – ETR

We want to let people know that inclusive education is good for everyone. 

If we work, we get an opportunity to learn new skills. László Bercse: Europe in Action 2021 speech

Life with an intellectual disability – interview series by Inclusion Europe

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.

Being visible and vocal on issues directly affecting millions of people requires your support. 

Become Inclusion Europe supporter and help us keep doing our work.