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Disability rights, European funds, institutionalisation in Czechia – Newsbits February 2021

Just a summary of reports, research and other relevant (to me at least) stuff. Perhaps someone else will find it useful too.

“Treaties, no matter how eloquently expressed, are not self-executing.”

Unfortunately – but unsurprisingly – it is not me who came up with this eloquent and all-too-precise sentence. It was the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Gerard Quinn.

“The ultimate goal is to embed the values of the UN CRPD as an automatic reflex in each of the contracting parties. This is a work in progress and is largely moving in the right direction,” Gerard Quinn writes in his first report in the role. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully shown that the old paradigm by which persons with disabilities are treated as if they are invisible or in ways that reinforce unequal power dynamics, is still alive.”

He goes on to outline his work-plan for the next years: “A key departure point for the Special Rapporteur’s work will be the core concept of inclusive equality, put forward by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

With these thematic priorities:

  • Covid 19 and the post-pandemic recovery;
  • intersections;
  • deinstitutionalisation and long-term care;
  • artificial intelligence;
  • regional bodies;
  • culture;
  • prisoners and detainees with disabilities.

The Special Rapporteur will also focus on how disability issues affect / are affected by existential threats: covid; climate change; armed conflicts and peacebuilding; extreme poverty (including impact on family members, feminisation of poverty).

The report is also available in easy-to-read (.pdf).

European Social Fund evaluation 2014-2018

6.2 million persons had participated in social-inclusion actions. 16% of participants are disabled.*

Quick scan:

  • A significant topic in the report is about “targeted v. general actions”, which of course is very important for reach to those who are disadvantaged. Sometimes, the report argues both ways, but mostly in favour of targeted action (in my interpretation at least)
  • “Education and training operations faced the biggest challenges in reaching disadvantaged groups. Overall, the proportion of disadvantaged participants in TO10 is 21%, below the proportion of disadvantaged participants in all ESF operations (31%).”
  • “A high proportion of people supported by ESF would otherwise probably have simply benefited from passive employment support.”

* “for instance Portugal collected data on disability only in operations targeted to disabled people”

Definitely interesting report from policy-making and implementation point of view.

Czechia: Institutional “care” report

Over 200 institutions, housing over 9,000 people with disabilities, most of them with intellectual disabilities.

80% of the “care homes” have bigger capacity than the ministry recommendation of 12 people max.

Vice-ombudsperson report on situation of Czech “care homes” for people with disabilities: in Czech. Includes research on unpaid labour by people with disabilities in these “care homes”