Law on PA in Slovenia: Process of Adoption – Elena Pečarič

Law on PA in Slovenia: Process of Adoption – Elena Pečarič

As you may know, YHD has collected the required number of signatures of voters to be able to put the Law on Personal Assistance into the process of adoption through the instrument of civil initiative. On the 14th June 2012, we immediately sent the text of the law into the decision making process. With that we also wanted to show in practice that we want to be active and full citizens, and that we strive to help to shape the policy that affects our lives.

At the moment the process is not running according to the plans, during the last month we found out that the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs prepared a negative opinion of the Law on Personal Assistance and has sent the opinion to the Government for approval. Opinion on the entire draft law on personal assistance is given only on one page! The main reason that the ministry prepared the negative opinion on the Law is the fact that the Government is preparing its own Law on PA, which is sadly being prepared since 2010.

We immediately connected our users, and stepped into action by writing personal stories about what personal assistance means for our daily lives. All stories and letters were sent to the respected ministry, we did not want to publish things in public, because we believed, which was our biggest mistake, that we could still make an agreement. As professional manager of the Program Independent Living of disabled (and as a user of PA as well), I wrote a strong letter, entitled “Law on Personal Assistance means life for us, do not take it away!”

Only the advocate of the principle of equality responded to the letters of our users and acted as a defender he even wrote a comprehensive opinion, which argues in favor of early adoption of the Law on PA.

That is why we were even more unpleasantly surprised when we managed to get to the representative of the Ministry that told us that the same opinion was sent forward to the Government.

Eventually the Government agreed to wait with the final decision by the fall.

Obviously this is only the beginning of a difficult and argumentative struggle in which we will again struggle with traditionally based disability organizations that want to keep their members in dependency and to sustain their financial benefits. Until after the fact we do not resist, we will live and die in misery. It is up to us all that we consistently fight on!

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