We are moving in the right direction! Mental Health Europe welcomes the UN’s recommendations to the EU
Brussels, 8 September 2015 – Yesterday, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) published its concluding observations and recommendations on how the EU should implement its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These recommendations are a much anticipated and historic milestone given that they are the first UN Treaty Body recommendations to be addressed to an intergovernmental organization and the Committee did not disappoint. The recommendations take full advantage of the EU’s capacity to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in Europe. MHE was delighted to see that most of its concerns were raised, particularly the clear focus on issues related to legal capacity and supported decision-making.
The Committee recommended that the EU steps up efforts to foster research, data collection and exchange of good practices on supported decision-making in consultation with representative organisations of persons with disabilities, fully in line with MHE’s ethos. “We are very happy to see that people with psychosocial disabilities are visible in the observations (…) thanks to carefully formulated recommendations, the Committee is encouraging and challenging the EU to have a pivotal role in ensuring that people with disabilities can fully enjoy their rights” said MHE President Nigel Henderson, in reaction to the recommendations. MHE also notes with appreciation the Committee’s focus on deinstitutionalisation which is addressed specifically in two separate recommendations. While MHE welcomes the recommendation on employment we hope that the EU will also take into account that increased employment for people with psychosocial disabilities can contribute meaningfully to recovery.
Thus MHE calls for quality jobs, early intervention schemes, and effective back-to work programmes. MHE warmly welcomes the Committee’s recommendation to develop a comprehensive campaign to raise awareness of the Convention and combat prejudice against persons with disabilities, especially persons with psychosocial disabilities. MHE calls for more inclusion of the representative organisations in the development and running of awareness raising campaigns. MHE will be happy to collaborate with the European institutions in their work on implementing the UN CRPD over the next four years.