The right to independent living of persons with disabilities

The project aims to assist EU institutions and Member States to ensure that the right of people with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community is fulfilled. It does this by examining how measures to achieve the transition from institutional to community-based support are implemented, and identifying drivers and barriers to this transition.
Project Status
Findings available
Project Manager
Astrid Podsiadlowski
Project start date
June
2014

What?

The project looks at the right of people with disabilities to live independently and to be included in the community as set out in Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Its objective is to provide evidence-based assistance and expertise to EU institutions and Member States on how to fulfil this right. It specifically focuses on the process of deinstitutionalisation.

Why?

The right to live independently and be included in the community is guaranteed by Article 19 of the CRPD and protected under EU law, in particular through the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of disability (Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU) and the principle of integration of persons with disabilities (Article 26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU).

The right to live independently and be included in the community is integral to the realisation of many of the other rights enshrined in the CRPD. These include equality and non-discrimination, autonomy and liberty, legal capacity and freedom of movement. The EU and its Member States have prioritised efforts supporting the right to independent living, underlining how central this right is to the effective implementation of the CRPD.

How?

The project has three interrelated activities:

  1. Taking stock: by mapping the various types of institutional and community-based services for people with disabilities across all 28 EU Member States.
  2. Identifying implementation gaps: by developing and applying human rights indicators. This helps to assess progress in fulfilling Article 19 of the CRPD and support ongoing efforts to implement the right to independent living.
  3. Examining the situation on the ground: by conducting qualitative fieldwork in five EU Member States (Bulgaria, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Slovakia) at different stages of the deinstitutionalisation process. This helps to identify and better understand the drivers of and barriers to the transition from institutional to community-based support.

Findings

  1. Taking stock
    An overview of types and characteristics of institutional and community-based services for people with disabilities in the 28 EU Member States, and background country data for each Member State.
  2. Identifying implementation gaps
    Three reports looking at different aspects of law and policy on deinstitutionalisation and independent living for people with disabilities:
    • Part I: commitments and structures: the first report highlights the obligations the EU and its Member States have committed to fulfil.
    • Part II: funding and budgeting: the second report looks at how funding and budgeting structures can work to turn these commitments into reality.
    • Part III: outcomes for persons with disabilities: the third report completes the series by focusing on the impact these commitments and funds are having on the independence and inclusion people with disabilities experience in their daily lives.

      In addition, FRA published:

    • Easy read versions of all three reports in English.
    • Summary of the findings from the three reports in English, Bulgarian, Finnish, Italian and Slovakian.
  3. Examining the situation on the ground
    The report ‘From institutions to community living for persons with disabilities: perspectives from the ground’ brings together findings from FRA’s fieldwork in Bulgaria, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Slovakia.

    In addition, FRA published:

  • A summary of the report in English, Bulgarian, Finnish, Italian and Slovakian.
  • National case study reports presenting the findings from the five countries where fieldwork took place in English and the respective national language.
  • Easy read national case study reports in English and the respective national language.
  • An infographic presenting the five essential features of successful deinstitutionalisation.
  • A video highlighting some of the main findings of the research.
  • Three factsheets on housing options, ensuring deinstitutionalisation for all and key milestones can be found in the downloads section below

 

See also