In 2014, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) launched a project focusing on the right of disabled people to independent living. The aim of the project is “to provide evidence-based assistance and expertise to EU institutions and Member States when they take measures or formulate courses of action within their respective sphere of competence to fulfill the right of people with disabilities to live independently and to be included in the community”, as set out in Article 19 CRPD.
As explained on the FRA website, the project has three stages:
- Developing a typology of institutions in the EU and developing indicators on the right to independent living (Article 19 of the CRPD).
- Research on legal and policy measures at the EU and national levels to promote independent living. This data collection will also help to populate the structure and process indicators identified in the first stage of the project.
- Case studies to understand the drivers and barriersto the transition from institutional to community-based care at the local level. The data collected will also populate the process and outcome indicators on Article 19 of the CRPD.
Although the project is still ongoing, most of the outputs are now available. The human rights indicators on Article 19 CRPD were finalised, and can be downloaded from here, in English and French. They are being used to collect data in the Member States, with a handful of Member States selected for more in-depth research. Informally, we have learned that this should be available by the end of 2017.
Most recently, FRA launched three reports on the transition from institutions to community living – dealing with commitments and structures, funding and budgeting, and outcomes for persons with disabilities. All the reports are available from here, and should be essential reading for the European Commission, MEPs and the relevant Ministries in the Member States.
ENIL welcomes FRA’s efforts to promote independent living and will continue engaging with the agency – to provide input and constructive criticism, and to help disseminate its research to our members. Our new Director Zara Todd has been elected to the FRA – FRP (Fundamental Rights Platform) Advisory Panel this Summer, which presents another opportunity to advise FRA on how to better promote the rights of disabled people in the EU.