The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) sent two written submissions on Article 19 – the Right to live independently and be included in the community to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities earlier this month. The Committee is in the process of drafting the General Comment on Article 19 and the aim of the submissions was to provide detailed comments in relation to the suggested provisions.
Given the importance of the General Comment for understanding of the right to independent living, ENIL joined the European Disability Forum, Inclusion Europe and Mental Health Europe in forming a common position, and has also sent additional comments. Both submissions – under ENIL and the European Disability Forum – are available from the website of the CRPD Committee.
ENIL’s main criticism centred around the question of whether disabled people should be allowed to choose institutional care settings. It is our, and our partner organisations’, view that there should be no excuses for Governments or other providers to maintain institutional care settings, and that community-based alternatives must be developed and provided instead.
We are expecting the General Comment to be finalised during the next session of the CRPD Committee, in the coming month. Following its publication, ENIL will be making sure that all those involved in the CRPD implementation, including disabled people, are aware of the General Comment and know how to use it.