In February 2016 ENIL started a 48-month project in Belarus in cooperation with Mental Health Perspectives (PSP), Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities (ORPD) as well as local and governmental authorities, civil society organisations and activists.
People with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities (PIPD) are usually deemed to be legally incapable in Belarus and are confined in large residential care institutions. Virtually all forms of dissent are suppressed and restrictive legislation as well as abusive practices are used to impede civil, political, social and other rights, as well as freedom of association and assembly in the country. Society lacks interest in and awareness of PIPD and do not realise their fundamental rights, thus, often supports a high level of institutionalisation. Through empowerment of civil society organisations (CSOs) and unveiling of the marginalised subject of the rights of PIPD, the project partners will seek to achieve a reform of the old-fashioned health and social care systems inherited from the Soviet Union in Belarus.
There are 3 specific results that the project aims to achieve:
- To enhance professionalism and technical skills of CSOs in Belarus in the fields of advocacy, networking, fundraising and project management
- To mobilise CSOs in Belarus and have the tools to promote and further watchdog the process of deinstitutionalisation (De-I) of PIPD
- For key stakeholders and society in general to be more aware of PIPD rights and supportive towards their social inclusion and independent living in Belarus.
The overall objectives of the project are:
- To contribute to the civil society’s realisation of civil, political and social rights of PIPD in Belarus
- To foster social inclusion, enforcement of rights and legal empowerment of PIPD, through active advocacy by local CSOs
The project will involve complex capacity building for CSOs and civil society activists and enabling the succeeding advocacy efforts by them, aimed at eventually dismantling the current institutional social care system, through De-I.
The project ‘Empowering Belarus CSOs to Advocate for Social Inclusion and Promote Participatory Decision Making for People with Intellectual or Psychosocial Disabilities in 6 Regions of Belarus‘ is funded by the European Union.