People with disabilities

Some 80 million European Union citizens have a disability. People with disabilities are able to make an enormous contribution to European society, but often face barriers that prevent them from doing so.

While some EU member states have successfully removed the hindrances that stop disabled people from participating fully in the labour market and society at large, this still poses a challenge for other countries. FRA examines where legal and social barriers exist, and identifies the good practices some states have introduced that empower people with disabilities. Initial work has focused on the difficulties people with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems face. Future work will investigate the situation of children with disabilities and work to develop disability indicators.

The values of dignity, autonomy, equality and inclusion are key EU principles. With the UN’s most recent human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the core concepts of self-determination, participation and inclusion have been expressly linked to people with disabilities, namely "those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others".

The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability and recognises the right of disabled people to integration.

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UN Disability Convention: A driver for EU change

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has helped advance the rights of people with disabilities across the EU. A new Focus paper by the EU Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) outlines how.

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Children with disabilities: targeted violence and hostility

This project will look at hostility, including violence, towards children with disabilities across the EU. It seeks to identify the legal and policy framework, as well as determine how information about such hostility is being collected. In addition, the project will look for examples of promising practices of how some Member States are addressing the problem.

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Implementing the UN CRPD: An overview of legal reforms in EU Member States

A new Focus paper by the EU Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) outlines how Member States across the EU have reformed their laws and policies to meet their obligations under the CRPD. By bringing together examples of such reforms, it also highlights how the adoption of international commitments can drive wide-ranging processes of change at the national level.

Fundamental rights: key legal and policy developments in 2013. Highlights 2013

Annual report
The EU and its Member States took a variety of important steps in 2013 to protect and promote fundamental rights by assuming new international commitments, revamping legislation and pursuing innovative policies on the ground. Yet, fundamental rights violations seized the spotlight with distressing frequency: would‑be migrants drowning off the EU’s coast, unprecedented mass surveillance, racist and extremist‑motivated murders, child poverty and Roma deprivation.