The Government of Wallonia states in the introduction to its Declaration of Regional Policy that it fully complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It claims that measures for the real inclusion of disabled people have been taken. This policy is to be implemented in the context of the sixth state reform and the transfer of power to the regions. With the first change of the institutional landscape on 1st January 2016 and the establishment of the new Wallonian Agency for Health, Welfare, Disability and Families, a new model of social security is being put into place.
On 1st January 2017, the current Personal Assistance Budget (BAP) will be substituted by “Autonomy-Insurance”. This insurance will provide individuals with lost autonomy, caused either by disability, age or health problems with access to general home services. Currently, these services do not give disabled people control over their support and often have a vision of ‘care’.
A change in the service provision is needed, with disabled people recognised as subjects of rights, not objects of care.
Despite the reassuring statements of the authorities, the introduction of this new system, and particularly the disappearance of BAP, makes people fear for their rights. Will freedom of choice still be respected as a fundamental right? Will the needs of disabled people be recognized?
Eva ASBL (Independent Living organisation in Belgium) calls for a bottom-up approach and asks that authorities listen to disabled people’s concerns. All disabled people, associations and concerned persons are invited to sign the Manifesto below.
Please sign by 30th March 2016.
Independent Living, as set out in Article 19 of the UN CRPD, is a fundamental right. This change in legislation will make it unachievable!