Hungary’s New Deinstitutionalisation Strategy Must be Scrapped

Hungary’s New Deinstitutionalisation Strategy Must be Scrapped

ENIL’s member in Hungary, the National Federation of Associations of People with a Physical Disability (MEOSZ) published a statement earlier this week rejecting  their country’s 2019 – 2036 Deinstitutionalisation strategy and calling on the Government to adopt a new strategy that will include measures to facilitate access to the right to live independently and to be included in the community for all disabled people in Hungary.

In their statement, MEOSZ raises the following main concerns with Hungary’s recently adopted long-term Deinstitutionalisation strategy:

According to the Strategy, the Hungarian Government created a new legal category of ‘supported living’ in the 2013 Social Act. However, it asserts that ‘supported living’ [‘támogatott lakhatás’] means ‘housing services in flats or houses for up to 12 people and in compounds of flats and houses for up to 50 people’. On the same page, it states that beds in existing residential institutions can still be created to reach an upper limit of 50 beds per establishment.

The strategy fails to set out measures to create and develop community-based services for disabled people, such as personal assistance.

There is no commitment to the full closure of institutions in the Strategy.

Although the Strategy uses the language of human rights, and makes references to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, its content runs against it. The Strategy will therefore contribute to maintaining status quo, which means the dominance of residential institutions for disabled people, with few or no services for those who already live in the community.

There is a high risk that the new Strategy will result in further, EU-sponsored investment in institutions, even if new settings will be, misleadingly, labelled ‘supported living’.

The European Network on Independent Living – ENIL fully supports MEOSZ in calling for a new deinstitutionalisation strategy and stands with all disabled people in Hungary experiencing any form of institutionalisation or unable to access support to live independently.

To read MEOSZ’s statement in full, please click here.

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