Fundamental rights protection of persons with disabilities in institutions

This project examines how duty-bearers mitigate the risk of violence and abuse of persons with disabilities in institutions, and how they respond to cases when these occur. It complements FRA’s activities as a member of the EU Framework for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and supports the Agency’s work on victims’ rights.
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The CRPD requires States Parties to take measures to protect persons with disabilities from all forms of violence; to ensure facilities are monitored by independent authorities; and to ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities. This project examines how such human rights standards are applied in the development and provision of care in institutional settings and will provide evidence-based advice to national authorities as they fulfil their obligations under human rights law.


Despite significant efforts, 15 years after the CRPD’s entry into force, institutional care persists in the EU for people with disabilities, including older people and children. Despite broad-based recognition of the heightened risk of violence within institutions, there is lack of comparative research in the EU. As a result, fundamental rights issues affecting those living in institutions remain largely undocumented and there is a lack of evidence of existing oversight, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms at the national level.


This project builds on FRA’s previous work on victims’ rights and its work on persons with disabilities: it aims to collect information on safeguards and accountability standards regulating the provision of institutional care and the availability and function of formal, informal and independent complaints mechanisms. It will also examine the nature and scope of monitoring carried out by public regulators and independent bodies and will map measures put in place to ensure that persons with disabilities in institutions who have fallen victim to violence have equal access to remedy, protection, and psychosocial support.

The project has two components: desk research in the 27 EU Member States and in North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania; and fieldwork research in 10 EU Member States. The data collection is carried out by FRA’s research network FRANET.


  • Comparative report
  • 30 national desk research reports (27 EU Member States, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania)
See also