ENIL in Mexico. What are the next steps for Deinstitutionalisation?

From 23 – 24 January 2023, members of the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalisation (GC-DI) met for the first time face to face in Mexico City to discuss the future of GC-DI and to plan joint initiatives. The meeting was organised by the Mexico Office of Disability Rights International and financially supported by Disability Rights Fund.

GC-DI is composed of the following eight organisations: ENIL, Transforming Communities for Inclusion (TCI), International Disability Alliance, Inclusion International, Disability Rights International, the Validity Foundation, the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and Disability Rights Fund/Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. They came together at the end of the Covid-19 Disability Rights Monitor initiative, to support the CRPD Committee’s working group on deinstitutionalisation. Specifically, GC-DI facilitated the involvement of disabled people and their organisations in the drafting the Guidelines on deinstitutionalisation, including in emergencies, which were published in September 2022.

During the Mexico meeting, GC-DI members discussed the future objectives of the Coalition and the possible remit of its activities. It was decided that the Coalition would focus on world-wide dissemination of the new Guidelines and would seek to ensure even better involvement of disabled people and their organisations. Among the joint actions that were agreed was developing resources to make it easier for Governments, service providers, disabled people and others to understand and use the Guidelines. Other decisions, on the working methods, structure and funding are yet to be agreed. Some actions, outside the remit of GC-DI, will be undertaken by its members, jointly or individually.

The first initiative of GC-DI after the meeting was drafting of a joint submission on Article 11 CRPD, in response to the Committee’s call for submissions for the Day of General Discussion on Article 11 of the Convention in March.

On 25 January, GC-DI met with the Inter-American Coalition on Deinstitutionalisation, a recently formed group focused on promoting the right to independent living and community inclusion in Latin America. Amalia Gamio, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, from Mexico, is one of the founding members and joined the meeting. During this meeting, we had the opportunities to hear about the challenges faced by disabled people and DPOs in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina, Peru and Chile, especially when it comes to legal capacity (Article 12) and independent living (Article 19). They also shared some promising laws, especially on legal capacity, which come from this part of the world.

ENIL was represented in both meetings by Nadia Hadad (Co-Chair) and Ines Bulic Cojocariu. We thank the Disability Rights Fund for supporting the meeting, and Disability Rights International for a very warm welcome in Mexico City.