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FRA | From institutions to community living

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The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published, on october 2017, the report «From institutions to community living» on the implementation of article 19 (“Living independently and being included in the community”) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on European Union countries. The focus of the report was on three main areas: (1) deinstitutionalisation plans and commitments; (2) funding; (3) and the impact this is having on people with disabilities.

Results show that many people with disabilities in the EU still live in institutions and article 19 is not being fully implemented, and policy makers need to be aware of this. The report show that some of the main obstacles to promote change are:
•    Although EU structural funds have also made the transition from institutions to community-based support a condition for receiving funding, many times, strategies often lack adequate funding, clear timeframes and targets, and fail to properly involve disabled persons’ organisations, hampering progress. In addition, many Member States still finance institutions.
•    Coupled with a lack of coordination among the many different national and local authorities that offer support, people with disabilities commonly live in worse conditions than people without disabilities. This is especially true if they have severe impairments. This often leaves them feeling excluded and lacking control over their lives.

In view of these results, EU Member States should develop the following recommendations:
•    to establish clear, properly resourced plans in terms of funding and responsibilities for supporting the closure of institutions and enabling community-based living, such as providing a range of good quality personal assistance options;
•    To develop adequate community support should exist to support people with disabilities as they leave institutions;
•    To ensure the acessibility of everyday services like transport, healthcare and education;
•    Involving people with disabilities and their representative organisations in decision making and monitoring progress is also key to ensuring their needs are addressed so they can enjoy their right to live independently.

For further information please download the full reports available below or visit the FRA website here.

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