The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) held a Day of General Discussion on the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community on the 19 April 2016 in Palais des Nations, Geneva.
Find the CRPD Committee call for submissions and the written contributions to the Day of General Discussions here .
Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland Galway and Co-chair of Community Living for Europe: Structural Funds Watch spoke on the role of the European Structural and Investment Funds in securing the right to live independently and be included in the community.
Watch the Day of General Discussions including side events here.
Find the Programme of the day including speakers here.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 19 – living independently and being included in the community
States Parties to the present Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that:
a) Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;
b) Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;
c) Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.
The CRPD Committee Concluding Observations on the initial report of the European Union adopted October 2015 stated;
50. The Committee is concerned that across the European Union, persons with disabilities, especially persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities still live in institutions rather than in their local communities. It notes that, despite changes in regulations, the European Structural and Investment Funds continue to be used in different member States for the maintenance of residential institutions rather than for the development of support services for persons with disabilities in local communities.
51. The Committee recommends that the European Union develop an approach to guide and foster deinstitutionalization and to strengthen the monitoring of the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds so as to ensure that they are used strictly for the development of support services for persons with disabilities in local communities and not for the redevelopment or expansion of institutions. The Committee also recommends that the European Union suspend, withdraw and recover payments if the obligation to respect fundamental rights is breached.