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Equality and inclusion for people with disabilities

Resolution 2039 (2015)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 30 January 2015 (9th Sitting) (see Doc. 13650, report of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, rapporteur: Ms Carmen Quintanilla). Text adopted by the Assembly on 30 January 2015 (9th Sitting).See also Recommendation 2064 (2015).
1 There are more than 80 million people with disabilities in Europe. Every human being is likely to suffer some temporary or permanent impairment at some point in his or her life. However, equality and inclusion for people with disabilities are rarely seen as priorities. People with disabilities are often excluded from society and are invisible to the rest of the population. In addition to the many obstacles they face, people with disabilities are particularly affected by the austerity measures taken by member States.
2 The Parliamentary Assembly reasserts that it is the various barriers encountered by people with impairments which create the situation of disability. Measures must be taken to secure the rights of people with disabilities to equality and full participation in society, as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5), the European Social Charter (revised) (ETS No. 163) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
3 The Council of Europe Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of people with disabilities in society: improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in Europe 2006-2015 must serve as a reference framework for member States. The Assembly believes that particular attention must be paid to certain areas with a view to moving decisively towards equal rights and inclusion for people with disabilities.
4 The Assembly therefore calls on the Council of Europe member States to:
4.1 ratify, if they have not yet done so, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto, and take the necessary measures to implement them;
4.2 ratify, if they have not yet done so, the revised European Social Charter and accept in full Article 15 on the right of persons with disabilities to independence, social integration and participation in the life of the community;
4.3 closely consult and actively involve the organisations representing people with disabilities in the development of policies and measures for people with disabilities;
4.4 introduce mechanisms for evaluating national policies and measures for people with disabilities, in particular by establishing independent monitoring mechanisms, and ensure their sufficient funding;
4.5 allocate sufficient funding to policies and measures designed to foster the full participation of people with disabilities in society, in particular the accessibility of premises and services;
4.6 support people with disabilities and their families financially to enable them to access the services and care they need, thereby taking into account General Comment No. 2 of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
5 With regard to legal capacity, the Assembly recalls Resolution 1642 (2009) on access to rights for people with disabilities and their full and active participation in society, and calls on member States to start replacing substitute decision-making mechanisms by supported decision-making mechanisms, in line with their international commitments.
6 The Assembly calls on member States to give up the culture of institutionalisation, in particular by putting an end to the construction and public funding of large institutions for people with disabilities, and to give consideration to alternatives to care in institutions, taking account of the choices of people with disabilities.
7 The Assembly is concerned about the scale of the problem of violence against people with disabilities, in particular women and children, and recommends that national parliaments ensure that disability is fully taken into account in their monitoring of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No. 210). The Assembly also calls on the Council of Europe member States to:
7.1 ratify, if they have not yet done so, the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS No. 201) and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence;
7.2 take account of the specific situation of women and girls with disabilities in their policies to combat violence against women.
8 With regard to access to employment, the Assembly encourages member States to develop policies to foster the employment of people with disabilities and, in particular, to:
8.1 introduce incentive, awareness-raising and support measures for employers so as to help people with disabilities find employment and stay in their jobs;
8.2 protect people with disabilities against discrimination during recruitment and throughout their careers, and make specific provision in legislation for the requirement for accessibility of workplaces and/or working conditions, as well as for reasonable accommodation.
9 Lastly, the Assembly calls on member States to conduct and/or encourage awareness-raising campaigns for the public, teaching staff and employers in order to overcome the stereotypes and prejudices surrounding disability.
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