The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is delighted to announce that the ENIL project – “ Proud, Strong and Visible – Promoting Choice, Control and Participation of Disabled people in Europe” has been selected for funding under the European Commission 2014 Action Grants. The grants are aimed at NGOs organized at European Level working for equal rights of persons with disabilities.
The goal of the project is to facilitate the implementation of Article 19 (Living independently and being included in the community) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by the Member States and the European Union. The right to independent living, as set out in Article 19, places an obligation on State Parties to facilitate the full inclusion and participation of disabled people in the community, by ensuring that they “have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community”. The project will also contribute to the implementation of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, in particular the area of action 2.2, which seeks to ensure the full participation of disabled people in society.
This project addresses current threats to the implementation of Article 19 – including the impact of the cuts in public spending on the support services for disabled people, and disability hate crime, which has been on the increase in countries. There are a number of key issues affecting disabled people in Europe today, including the slow transition from institutional care to community-based services and the failure to develop alternative solutions to institutional care which facilitate the choice and control of disabled people. There is a lack in good practice in implementing Article 19 of the CRPD as a result of the poor involvement of disabled people in the development and delivery of services. In response to these challenges, ENIL has identified several main objectives for the project, including the following:
- To provide evidence based advice to policy and decision makers at the national and EU level about making the transition from institutional care to community living, with a focus on personal assistance
- To build a business case for the transition from institutional care to community living by comparing the cost of personal assistance and residential care through a European survey
- To strengthen the involvement of young disabled people in the Independent Living movement at the local, national and European level and to identify the key challenges in accessing employment and education
- To monitor the situation of disabled people in the EU, candidate and potential candidate countries, focusing on progress towards de-institutionalisation and the impact of austerity measures on disabled people
- To tackle discrimination against disabled people by raising awareness about disability hate crime
The objectives are sought to be achieved through a series of activities, including study visits, seminars, meetings, a roundtable and webinars. A number of reports, toolkits and recommendations in relation to policy will be produced as a result of this project. All activities are based on the principle of “nothing about us, without us” and the aim to promote the involvement of disabled people in policy and decision making at all levels. More information about these activities will be available on the ENIL website each month.
This project will be implemented throughout 2014 and is led by ENIL. Our partners are three leading national disability organisations – Center for Independent Living Sofia, Bulgaria, Onafhankelijk Leven, Belgium and Disability Rights UK, United Kingdom.