Institutions are never an option!
Building human connections, being part of a group, belonging: These needs are human needs. People with intellectual disabilities want to share their lives with neighbours, friends and relatives. They want to live as independently as possible. And they want to contribute to their community.
Even though the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) establishes the right of all people to choose where and with whom to live, reality is still very different for many people with intellectual disabilities. Inclusion Europe therefore puts community living high on its agenda.
We have been working on this topic for many years and have been able to stir interest for the issue at the European level. There are lots of positive developments: Many countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, have revised their policies and started moving people out of institutions and into the community.
“Included in Society”, a report from 2003 written by Inclusion Europe and partner organisations, not only pointed out the harm large residential institutions do, but also established recommendations for policymakers on how to organise community-based care.
We have addressed other aspects of community living in various projects, such as:
- The empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities as consumers of support services
- Principles for quality evaluation of services
- User Councils in services for people with intellectual disabilities
- Empowering people with complex support needs
Read some of the work we have done to promote the right to live independently and be included in the community:
- Factsheet on Independent Living (.pdf) created together with ENIL
- Deinstitutionalisation (.docx) (regional consultation 2021)
- Submissions on the right to live independently and be included for the UN CRPD Committee General Comment on article 19
Inclusion Europe is an active member of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG). As members of the EEG we produced:
- Checklist on use of EU funds
- Common European Guidelines on the Transition from Institutional to community-based Care (2012)
- Toolkit on the use of European Union funds for the Transition from Institutional to community-based care (2014)
- Report (.pdf) of the Ad-hoc expert group on transition from institutional to community-based care (2009)
- Report on the transition from institutional care to community-based services in 27 EU member states (2020)
- Why are people with intellectual disabilities still at risk of institutionalisation?
Read more about deinstitutionalisation:
- Life after violence – a study on how women with intellectual disabilities cope with violence they experienced in institutions (EN and NL version)
- “Children with disabilities deserve a life outside of institutions“
- “Reforms to the Czech social care system are stalling. This harms people forced to live in institutions“
- “There are no exceptions to the right to grow up in a family“
- “Deinstitutionalisation essentially is a struggle for independence“
Children’s rights for all reports
- 2011: Implementing the UN CRPD
- 2020: Legal and policy framework
- Read Children’s rights for all reports here
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.
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