In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) more than 2000 people with intellectual and mental disabilities are placed in 5 institutions. This means an average of 400 people per institution. This terrifying statistic is compounded by the reality that most people in institutions (in FBiH and elsewhere) are completely denied legal capacity. This means they cannot even challenge their placement in the institutions before the law because they are not recognised as legal persons. As our FBiH partner, Sumero, found out, this may also mean that such people cannot even pose for photographs, even if they want to. Sabina Cano, Sarajaevo Project Co-ordinator for PERSON, reports.
More than 2000 people with intellectual and mental disabilities are placed in 5 institutions in the FBiH, we visited one of them.
Over 1500 people are completely or partially deprived of legal capacity, which directly consequence their placement in a residential facility.
Most of them live and die in residential institutions without being able to change their lives because they do not have the right to decide about it.
In the picture there are person from one of the residential institution. They are not deprived of legal capacity.
They are sending a message on behalf of their friends who are also placed in the institution and who could not even take pictures.
SUMERO was not allowed to take photos of any of the residents who were deprived of their legal capacity precisely because this would require the permission of each individuals’ guardian. This was despite the people we met who were in this category wishing to take part in a photo.
Instead, we have this photo of support from residents who retain their legal capacity. However, even by virtue of living in an institution, a person is unable to exercise legal capacity on an equal basis with others as they do not share the same potential to make decision in society on an equal basis with others.
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.