The European Parliament approved a motion for resolution yesterday (8 July) on the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities in the COVID-19 crisis. The resolution was drafted by the Parliament’s Petitions Committee, following a petition from Inclusion Europe.
The European Parliament approved the resolution by 682 votes in favour, 3 against and 10 abstentions.
Throughout the health crisis, members of Inclusion Europe have reported cases of discrimination and violations of their rights such as discriminatory triage guidelines, medical discrimination in hospitals or cases where, when called, ambulances would not even come for people with disabilities.
Therefore, on May 19th Inclusion Europe submitted a petition to the PETI Committee of the European Parliament that draws attention to the situation of people with intellectual disabilities and their families across the European Union in times of COVID-19 crisis and lockdown.
”Coronavirus and the lockdown highlighted the ongoing segregation and discrimination of people with intellectual disabilities, especially in access to healthcare. Equality and human rights were ignored. This is unacceptable and must never happen again. We appreciate the European Parliament reassured people with intellectual disabilities and their families about their rights set out both in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” – Jyrki Pinomaa, President of Inclusion Europe.
Following a health crisis such as the one of the COVID-19, it is undeniable that the European Union must work on building a stronger social union to protect European citizens and people living in the EU.
We believe the EU should conduct investigations on abusive procedures and behaviors that led to denial of care, to ensure compensation for families and individuals and condemn such practices. It is time that disability in Europe is no longer seen from a purely medical perspective.
The EU must ensure that the post-Coronavirus measures are compatible with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities. Disability related services must be considered a priority. Post-Corona financial measures must start with people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
“We need to make sure our rights are respected and we are not left behind,” commented László Bercse, chair of the European Platform of Self-Advocates.
“The vote today is important to addresses the unnecessary harm and damage done to people with intellectual disabilities.“ – Helen Portal, Advocacy and Policy Officer
For more information about the petition in multiple languages click here.
Press release by the Petitions Committee.