EASPD warns: austerity measures endanger social services all over Europe

On 7th and 8th October 2010 around 200 delegates from the European disability sector came together in Skopje, fYR Macedonia, for the European conference “Current realities – future challenges” to discuss how to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in society.

During the conference, representatives of the Macedonian Government confirmed that they will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the end of the year.

This overall good news was overshadowed by the dramatic and disturbing developments in the social sector in the East and Southeast of Europe as brought up by Romanian representatives and many others.

“Due to the implementation of the austerity measures in Romania, the social sector faces extreme cuts which lead to a situation of poor survival. The money persons with disabilities receive from the government is not enough to pay three meals a day. The cuts in the budget and the freeze in hiring staff in the social and health sectors until 2013 forces professionals to leave the country and leads to an exodus”, an EASPD member from Romania said during the conference. “We ask the European community to help us, as the existence of the Romanian social sector is threatened by the lack of funding.”

Discussing the Romanian case then showed that in many other European countries persons with disabilities, their families and services are also suffering the consequences of the economic crisis and the cuts in social spending.

EASPD President Franz Wolfmayr welcomes the decision of the Macedonian authorities to ratify the UN Convention but also warns policy-makers in the European Members States that the harsh cuts in the social and health sectors could break the backbone of the European welfare systems. “The Macedonian objective to ratify the UN Convention is a positive sign in difficult times which shows that change is possible step by step. At the same time we must not forget that the UN Convention cannot be adequately implemented without the needed resources and structures. In some countries persons with disabilities live in very difficult and not acceptable situations. The austerity measures threaten their living conditions and support services. We need to work all together to keep the European welfare systems alive and to set the ground for the implementation of the UN Convention all over Europe.”

Further information:  Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General  EASPD

Press contact: Ms Charlotte Boetticher, tel. +32 2 282 46 10, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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“Disability Rights or Disabled Rights?” – Hungarian civil society alternative report to the UN CRPD

The Hungarian Disability Caucus which is a non hierarchical collaborative network of Disabled Peoples Organizations and their allies in Hungary have produced an alternative report which assesses Hungary’s compliance with the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The first CRPD Hungarian alternative report looks at each of the CRPD articles and concludes that the government is failing to meet the needs of people with disabilities, and its obligations under the CRPD.

The findings are particularly concerning, as Hungary became the first European State to ratify the CRPD in March 2007. The alternative report will be sent to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is available in English and Hungarian and can be downloaded at

http://www.mdac.info/crpd-shadow-report

The report contains 170 recommendations to the Hungarian government, including

·       How to provide supported decision-making for the approximately 80,000 people under guardianship;

·         How to amend legislation to guarantee reasonable accommodation and accessibility;

·         How to close large institutions and develop independent living;

·         How to ensure inclusive education of children with disabilities;

·         How to bring employment law in line with the CRPD.

 

The members of the Hungarian Disability Caucus are

·         Committee of Disabled Persons’ Organisations (FESZT)

·         Down Association

·         Hungarian Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability (ÉFOÉSZ)

·         Hungarian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SINOSZ)

·         Hungarian Autistic Society (AOSZ)

·         Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ)

·         Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC)

·         National Federation of Disabled Persons’ Association (MEOSZ)

·         Voice of Soul Association.

 

For further information, please contact:

Gabor Gombos, MDAC Senior Advocacy Officer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and

Dalma Földes, SINOSZ Project Coordinator,   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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The Conference “TOWARDS COMMUNITY LIVING: current realities & future challenges” - Skopje on the 7-8 October 2010.

The general goal of the conference will be to facilitate the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in society, in the light of the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It will be achieved by enriching the discussion with the variety of situations from all regions of Europe, as we believe that mutual learning is a key for success. Speakers and participants from all parts of the Continent will have the opportunity to share their experience and build networks at all levels. It should enable them to better understand their differences, but also to potentially pave the way for a common vision of how to concretely contribute to the improvement of living conditions for persons with disabilities.

The discussions will be based on:

  • The specific situation of stakeholders involved in the Disability sector in the different regions of Europe and the challenges they are facing
  • The wish to promote, facilitate and enhance cooperation practices among stakeholders of the Disability sector
  • The international policies and texts relevant for the sector

Who should attend?

- Professionals, service providers

- People with disabilities and their families

-  Researchers, educators

-  Policy Makers

Conference venue: Hotel Continental, Skopje, Macedonia

Information & Registration: http://easpdskopjeconference.openthewindows.org/

Conference languages: Macedonian-English- German-French

Organisers:

EASPD, Republic centre for support of persons with intellectual disability (PORAKA), Open the Windows and the Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism

 

Representative of Serbia elected in expert body of UN for monitoring of implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – UN CRPD

On the Third Conference of States Parties, 1 - 3 September 2010, New York, UNHQ, Dr. Damjan Tatić candidate from Republic of Serbia was elected for member of Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Committee has 18 members.

Republic of Serbia ratified UN CRPD in 2009. This is the first international treaty in the Human Rights field in XXI century, aiming to protect and improve life of 650 million persons with disabilities worldwide.

State parties that ratified convention committed that will work on diminishing discrimination towards persons with disabilities, that they will work on inclusion of PWD’s in all spheres of society. Ratifying the Convention state parties committed that they will improve national legislation in line with CRPD.

COD team is congratulating to Dr. Tatić election for memberships in the Committee. In the same time COD is appealing for implementation of UN CRPD in all levels in Republic of Serbia.

Predstavnik Srbije u ekspertskom telu UN-a zaduženom za praćenje sprovodjenja UN Konvencije o pravima osoba sa invaliditetom

Na trećoj konferenciji država ugovornica UN Konvencije o pravima osoba sa invaliditetom koja se održava u sedištu UN-a u Njujorku (01-03. Septembar 2010.g.), dr. Damjan Tatić, kadnidat Republike Srbije izabran je za člana Komiteta za prava osoba sa invaliditetom. Komitet za prava osoba sa invaliditetom sada broji 18 članica/članova.

Srbija je Konvenciju ratifikovala 2009. godine.  To je prva konvencija u oblasti ljudskih prava koju su UN usvojile u 21.veku, čiji je ciilj da se zaštite i unaprede prava oko 650 miliona osoba sa invaliditetom u svetu.

Zemlje potpisnice konvencije pruzimaju obavezu da uklone diskriminaciju prema ljudima sa invaliditetom i olakšaju njihovu inkluziju u društvo, kao i da tome prilagode svoje zakonodavstvo.

Tim Centar za orijentaciju društva - COD čestita dr. Tatiću izbor za članstvo u Komitetu. Istovremeno apelujemo na potpunu primenu UN Konvencije o pravima osoba sa invaliditetom na svim nivoima u Republici Srbiji.

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Nova redakcija sajta Inicijativa za praćenje invalidnosti u jugoistočnoj Evropi

U sklopu izlazne strategije Handicap International iz regiona Jugoistočne Evrope, Handicap International je predao veb stranicu Inicijative za nadgledanje pitanje invalidnosti i njen sadržaj koja je nastala u okviru projekta Inicijativa za nadgledanje pitanja invalidnosti partnerskoj organizaciji iz Srbije Centru za orijentaciju društva – COD. COD će nastaviti da upravlja ovom veb stranicom i u narednom periodu če početi sa re-dizajniranjem i prevodom celokupnog sadržaja na lokalnim jezicima iz Jugoistočne Evrope.

New editorial committee of Disability Monitor Initiative in Southeast Europe

Tim Centra za orijentaciju društva - COD

In the framework of the Handicap International SEE Program Exit Strategy, Handicap International for South East Europe handed over the Disability Monitor web site and its content, created in the framework of the Disability Monitor Initiative project, to its partner organization from Serbia, the Center for Society Orientation - COD. COD will continue to manage this web page and in upcoming period will start with re-designing and translation of whole content on local Southeast Europe languages.

Team of Center for Society Orientation - COD

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Holistic report "Monitor your rights!" - monitoring of rights of persons with disabilities in Republic of Serbia

To download Serbian version please click here:
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To download English version please click here:
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Disability Monitor Initiative in South East Europe is managed by the Center for Society Orientation – COD (Centar za orijentaciju društva).

The mandate of COD is to support capacity building of local actors in the Republic of Serbia and other countries of Southeast Europe during transition period, in order to enable all marginalized groups, with a special focus on people with disabilities, enjoying their fundamental human rights and equal opportunities.

Working papers

Ensuring access of people with disabilities to social services:
The need for regulatory mechanisms in South East Europe

This working paper presents the challenges and opportunities related to reforms of social services for people with disabilities in South East Europe. The paper also shows the central role of regulatory mechanisms in the process of service provision. It is available in English, Albanian and serbian.

Downloads

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