Survey about EU Disability Strategy. North Macedonia president supports school inclusion – #IncludeNews for February 2022

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Survey about EU Disability Strategy. North Macedonia president supports school inclusion - #IncludeNews for February 2022

Include News brings you updates about interesting reports, work done for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Europe, and other stuff that is good to know.
Include News is a monthly post, that we keep updating during the month.
Here is the previous Include News post.

Russia’s war on Ukraine: protect people with intellectual disabilities and families

Read all about the situation here.

Abuse in residential care in Ireland.

  • There were again cases of abuse in residential care recently.
  • Inclusion Ireland calls for a change in how people with intellectual disabilities who use services are protected from abuse.

Inclusion Ireland CEO wrote about it in a newspaper:

  • We have a long, sad history of segregation, and people with intellectual disabilities are a part of that story.
  • Today almost 3,000 people are still living in group homes and 1,300 people with disabilities under the age of 65 living in nursing homes.
  • Many people with intellectual disabilities need support to live a good life; there is no shame in that. Some people need intensive levels of support, others need a small amount of support. It is the nature of the support which makes the real difference for the person on a human level. Good support is about valuing a person and asking “would I accept this situation for me?“


Right to vote

The European Court of Human Rights rules in favour of voting rights of people under guardianship.
  • The case is Anatoliy Marinov v. Bulgaria.
  • Mr. Marinov had automatically lost his right to vote in Bulgaria’s 2017 parliamentary elections as a result of his placement under partial guardianship on grounds of a psychiatric disorder.
  • Mr. Marinov’s right to free elections, under Article 3 of Protocol No.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), had been violated the Court ruled.

The ruling still allows for discrimination of some people with disabilities by taking away their right to vote:

  • “44.  However, the rights guaranteed under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 are not absolute. There is room for implied limitations, and the Contracting States have a margin of appreciation in this sphere, which generally is a wide one.
  • “At the same time, the Court reiterates that if a restriction on the right to vote applies to a particularly vulnerable group in society that has suffered considerable discrimination, such as the mentally disabled, then the margin of appreciation of the State in question is substantially narrower.
  • “The reason for this approach, which questions certain classifications per se, is that such groups have been historically subject to prejudice with lasting consequences, resulting in their social exclusion. Such prejudice may entail legislative stereotyping that prohibits the individualised evaluation of their capacities and needs.
  • “The Court emphasises, in that respect, that the quality of the parliamentary and judicial review of the necessity of a general measure, such as the disputed disenfranchisement imposed as a consequence of declaring a person legally incapable, is of particular importance, including to the operation of the relevant margin of appreciation (see Strøbye and Rosenlind v. Denmark.”

In that last case, the Court refers to its ruling last year saying taking away the right to vote from some people with disabilities is not a violation of their rights.

  • Read more about the right to vote for people with intellectual disabilities.

Save the date

Europe in Action conference takes place 1 – 3 June 2022.
  • The conference is about how to end segregation.
  • Save the date, and learn more about the conference here.
The European Commission asks: What do you know about our 10-year Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

Learn more about the EU Disability Rights Strategy.


Watch Soufiane El Amrani explain our new strategy to end segregation:


School inclusion

The president of North Macedonia walked an 11-year-old girl with Down Syndrome to school to protest discrimination she faced.
  • Embla was discriminated at school, with parents of other students protesting about her being there.
  • The president decided to support Embla by accompanying her to school one day.
  • “Inclusiveness should not remain just a declarative principle. [We have to] use the potentials of people with atypical development. Prejudice should not be an obstacle in building an equal and just society for all. Empathy is our moral obligation,” the president Stevo Pendarovski said.

Our posts about this story registered nearly 100,000 combined organic views in less than a week.



2,550 people with intellectual disabilities take tests to work in public administration in Spain.

  • 190 work places are available in the public administration.
  • Plena inclusión is working with the state administration to make the test accessible, and to help people with intellectual disabilities get the public jobs.
  • This includes providing easy to read information about the test, and informing about the procedure.
  • Almost 9,200 people have registered for these tests, and 447 got the employment over the past 10 years.



Unapei has been warning for several months about the unprecedented crisis that the disability sector is going through in France.

  • Unapei and other organisation are warning about the impact of staff shortages on access to support for people with disabilities.
  • “Too many people with disabilities are put in danger, deprived of care and activities essential to their lives. Their fundamental rights are endangered.”
  • “Too many parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers are still forgotten by society. They put their personal and professional lives on hold to take care of their loved one with a disability.”
  • Hundreds of professionals, people with disabilities and families are concerned.


Tackling child poverty

EU countries need to present a plan for child poverty reduction.

  • EU countries have to submit national action plans to EU Commission in which they describe how they will implement Child Guarantee during period from 2022 to 2030. Deadline for the plans’ submission is mid-March 2022.
  • The members states have national coordinators (.pdf) for the implementation of the EU Child Guarantee.

The Child Guarantee means EU countries should spend at least 5% of ESF+ money on child poverty reduction.

  • There are 6 categories of children priorities in the Child Guarantee.
  • Children with disabilities are one of them, as are children in “alternative, especially institutional, care”.

Go deeper:

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