We, the PERSON partnership, have been engaged by the European Commission since 2012 to enhance the capabilities of civil society organisations in Balkan states and Turkey to undertake reforms on the legal capacity of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.
Legal capacity refers to being both recognised as a person before the law with equal rights compared to others, and as having the right exercise that claim to equality – that is, having the ‘right to act.’
Equality before the law for people with disabilities is a cross-cutting issue that goes to the heart of disability human rights violations in law, policy and practice. These violations include restrictions on voting, financial decision-making, rights to liberty, education and other core rights. These restrictions are based on outdated and discriminatory views of people with disabilities.
Given that in Europe alone, there are 80 million people with disabilities, we invite you to sign up to the declaration below and be part of driving change.
- I believe that the right to act for people with disabilities is a human rights issue.
- I believe that people with disabilities should enjoy the right to decide on their lives on an equal basis with others.
- I believe restricting the legal capacity of people with disabilities through guardianship and other forms of substituted decision-making is a human rights violation.
- I believe guardianship and other forms of substituted decision-making are not a good way of protecting people with disabilities and that supported decision-making alternatives can protect the human rights of people with disabilities.
- I know that there are alternatives to substituted decision-making. I believe that people with disabilities, families, and staff, including nurses, doctors, social workers, and others must receive adequate support, resourcing and training to support these alternatives.
- I believe all governments must take responsibility for addressing the right to act, and to report on progress of this core human right.
- I believe we all have a part to play in making change.
This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of PERSON (Partnership to Ensure Reforms of Supports in Other Nations) and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.