|‘The United Nations Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’
is an agreement between countries.
The Convention says that governments have to make sure
It says that people with intellectual disabilities
Members of Inclusion Europe met in Brussels.
They talked about how to make sure that countries do
On 25th of October Inclusion Europe organised a Strategic Policy Seminar for the members of its network in Brussels. In monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a key challenge recognised by Inclusion Europe’s members is the identification of evidence concerning state’s progress on disability policies and their impact on people with disabilities. Legal capacity, community living and participation of people with intellectual disabilities were repeatedly highlighted as priorities of our advocacy agenda.
Austerity measures, innovative mind
The on-going economic crisis has had a severe impact on many areas of society and particularly on the most vulnerable citizens. The financial consequences and austerity measures hit the economies of national states and the newly adopted rules contributed to build up vague promises for wealth growth of national governments to citizens. At the same time, the crisis undermined trust of people in institutions and decision-makers and opened space for extremism. Europeans are failing to accept a new place in the world and demographic changes our continent is going through.
As urged by Neil Crowther, Disability Rights Consultant and former Director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, a new model of social investment by the state should replace the social welfare model. Social and economic wealth can be build up only through investments in people. This means also a change of perception of people with disabilities in European countries. People with disabilities should not be seen as a problem, but as a social capital for states. Neil Crowther emphasised that the current crisis did not affect people with disabilities in advocating for their rights, because many of their ideas are yet to be realised.
’Investing in people’ attitude adopted by decision makers would open up communities and increase the quality of independent living for people with disabilities as well as inclusive education. “We need to project the future we want by celebrating the progress we have made,” he stated.
You can access Neil’s presentation on the following page.
Participation and supported decision-making: paths to inclusion
Gauthier de Beco from Catholic University of Leuven and Mario Nossin from the Dutch Coalition for Inclusion pointed out the approaches to improve participation of people with intellectual disabilities in the implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention.
Effective monitoring requires cooperation of various stakeholders: state, non-state actors and people with intellectual disabilities. There is no universal model for monitoring the CRPD and it varies from country to country. To strengthen the implementation of the UN Convention, advisory bodies, equality bodies as well as ombudsmen should support actors in the promotion of the UN Convention, its monitoring, and in data collection.
Connie Laurin Bowie, director of Inclusion International, presented their Global Campaign on the Right to Decide, designed to get individuals, families and communities talking about making decisions and supported decision-making.
Camille Latimier, Human Rights Officer of Inclusion Europe, informed participants about a significant step taken by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities towards the full realisation of the right to make decisions The Committee’s draft General Comment on Article 12 represents an important message to governments to adopt measures to support legal capacity of all people with disabilities. People with intellectual disabilities are still “disproportionally affected by substituted decision-making regime” and the comment recalls the importance of having legal capacity as a universal attribute.
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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