New FRA report on the right of persons with disabilities to vote(08 November 2010)

If your vote is not counted, do you not count?

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a report on the right to political participation of persons with mental health problems and persons with intellectual disabilities in the European Union (EU).

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All citizens of the European Union have the right to vote.

However, in some countries in the European Union, persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with mental health problems are denied the right to vote.

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The FRA has published a report, which describes what the law is in each European Union country.

The report compares the national laws to what is written in European and international law – including, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

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The findings of the report will be presented at a conference in Lisbon on promoting social inclusion and combating stigma in mental health. This conference is organised by the European Commission, which wants to address this important issue. Read more about the conference here.

The report is part of a project being done by the FRA about the fundamental rights of persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with mental health problems. For more on the FRA disability project.

Read the report

Read the press release


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Mental Health Problems can affect a person's thoughts, body, feelings, and behaviour. These problems can be very serious and interfere a lot with a person's life. Mental health problems can even cause a person to become disabled or commit suicide.

Mental health problems include depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and conduct disorder.

An Intellectual Disability (also described as ‘mental disability' or ‘learning difficulty') is a permanent condition.

Intellectual disability is characterised by significantly lower than average intellectual ability, resulting in limitations in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behaviour.

Clip art picture - childA person usually has an intellectual disability from when they are born, or the intellectual disability develops before they reach 18 years old.

Clip art picture - computer supportA person with an intellectual disability usually needs support in several areas of life, for example when talking with or writing to other people, or managing his or her money.

This web page is written in Easy read icon Easy Read format using pictures and simple language. Easy Read is used, for example, by people with an intellectual disability, the elderly or speakers of foreign languages.

  • EASY READ: The rights of people with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities to take part in politics  English  application/pdf (PDF File 927 KB)
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