Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

Combating eugenics and discrimination against people with disabilities

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 12996 | 06 July 2012

Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Francis AGIUS, Malta, EPP/CD ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EDG ; Ms Olena BONDARENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Agustín CONDE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Joseph FALZON, Malta, EPP/CD ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Erich Georg FRITZ, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr György FRUNDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Sylvi GRAHAM, Norway, EPP/CD ; Ms Dzhema GROZDANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Attila GRUBER, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrzej HALICKI, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Mladen IVANIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD ; Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Ms Jagna MARCZUŁAJTIS-WALCZAK, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Edgar MAYER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr João Bosco MOTA AMARAL, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Gebhard NEGELE, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr Fritz NEUGEBAUER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Ms Mirosława NYKIEL, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Maciej ORZECHOWSKI, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Mikael OSCARSSON, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Lajla PERNASKA, Albania, EPP/CD ; Mr Ángel PINTADO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Zaruhi POSTANJYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Ms Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Carmen QUINTANILLA, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Jadwiga ROTNICKA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Luz Elena SANÍN, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Irena SOKOLOVA, Bulgaria, NR ; Mr Latchezar TOSHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Petré TSISKARISHVILI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Mr Imre VEJKEY, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Anne-Mari VIROLAINEN, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Renate WOHLWEND, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD

People with disabilities still experience discrimination in their daily lives. The type and extent of discrimination varies depending on the cultures. They are perceived and treated differently, being considered as inferior. People with disabilities suffer various forms of discrimination, including being rejected by and segregated from mainstream society.

In technologically advanced societies, people with genetic disabilities increasingly suffer from a new widespread prejudice: eugenic ideology which considers their very existence as a medical error. In some European countries, over 90% of fetuses diagnosed as Down syndrome are routinely eliminated before birth. Eugenics is a reality in countries where prenatal screening has become systematic, in turn leading to the stigmatization of persons with genetic disability and their families, in particular those with Down syndrome.

European and international law has repeatedly condemned eugenic ideology since the Nuremberg trials in Articles 4 and 10 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons. Other European and international norms, such as the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, the Convention of the Rights of the Child as well as the Oviedo Convention, contain similar provisions.

The Parliamentary Assembly should therefore analyse and discuss this subject and invite the member States of the Council of Europe to adopt measures in order to implement their commitment “that every human being has the inherent right to life and (...) to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others”, as required, inter alia, by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.