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THE RIGHT TO LIVE IN THE COMMUNITY: SOCIAL INCLUSION AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. Human Rights and Justice Community of Practice Jasmina Papa, UNDP CO Croatia. Social services- Croatian way. Centralised system Reform efforts since 2001; not a priority (beyond crisis management)

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the right to live in the community social inclusion and persons with disabilities

THE RIGHT TO LIVE IN THE COMMUNITY: SOCIAL INCLUSION AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Human Rights and Justice Community of Practice

Jasmina Papa, UNDP CO Croatia

social services croatian way
Social services- Croatian way
  • Centralised system
  • Reform efforts since 2001; not a priority (beyond crisis management)
  • Increase in private and non-state owned institutions
  • Limited deinstitutionalisation (long term care, often in remote localities)
project approach i living like everyone else does
Project Approach ILiving like everyone else does
  • Voicing the client perspectives: NHDR, focus groups, consultative proces, personal experiences of professional practices,
  • The role/importance of language: amplyfing the turn towards human rights/citizenship models
  • Activities reflecting interconection between different stages of a lifecycle (the right to live in the family; the right to inlcusive education; the right to employment)
  • Partnerships: university, NGO’s, public institutions, but also looking for ‘unusual suspects’ ex: artists, business
project approach ii not only in the realm of welfare
Project approach II: not only in the realm of welfare
  • The responsibility for the realisation of rights of persons with disabilites needs to be shared: families; communities; education, labour market; businesses....
  • Aligning with EU pre-accession requirements (social inclusion issues can be more relevant if approached from human rights perspective)
  • Removing attitudinal barriers and mainstreaming
persons with disabilities in croatian context
Persons with Disabilities in Croatian Context

475 391 persons live with disability, approx 11% of population (2007: Croatian Register of PwD)

  • Main causes of disability: illness 45,97%; work related disability 25.41%; ‘990s war and its consequences 10,66%; birth related 5.8%; traffic acc 4.29% other 4.73% WWII 3.08% (Census 2001)
  • 80 000 “in treatment” of Centers for Social Welfare
  • 5 635 (2% of total unemployed;1,3% of a total number of pwd) registered as unemployed (only those with specific medical documentation)
persons with disabilities in croatian context6
Persons with disabilities in Croatian context

‘ Every month I must ask my doctor to give me the official note to confirm my disabled identity and my condition. Then she takes it a committee to be approved. A committee does not even see us… Every month is like this.. It does not make any sense for chronic patients or amputees.. Nobodys leg has grown in the meantime…They undermine and abuse us.’ (focus group participant, 2006)

  • Legal Framework: about 280 articles in different laws and by –laws; different definitions of disability; sometimes insufficiently harmonised
  • National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities : no clear evaluation and monitoring mechanisms
  • UN Convention on the Rights of PwD ratified, Optional Protocol signed
core undp activities
Core UNDP activities

►Legislation review: national legislation compared with the UN Convention on the Rights of PwD: definitions; gap analysis.

►Support for ‘specialised’ foster care for children with disabilities (35 children+ 15 deinstitutionalised within 10 months; 3 mobile teams)

►Piloting the model of educational inclusion ( 36 teachers in primary schools trained; ToT training; 4 teacher assistants; 3 mobile teams formed;)

►Improving employability and employment opportunites for persons with disabilities in the open labour market:

■ action oriented research on skills and motivation (sample: 600 persons);

■ development of individualised employment plans for 100 persons

■ Award for the Disability Friendly Employer of the Year 2007

core undp activities crosscutting
Core UNDP Activities - crosscutting

“There is always someone who finds it awkward: they look through you, turn their head away…” (focus group participant, 2006)

  • Increasing visibility and sensitivity (TV, radio, film, print media)
  • Advocacy for social model of disability, HRBA approach/citizenship model
  • Deinstitutionalisation – from a system of institutions to a system of services (based on needs)
  • Policy level changes - looking into system effectivness from users perspective
key challanges
Key Challanges
  • UNDP’s reputation regarding disability issues in CEE
  • Policy making space crowded ( EU/EC lead agent with diverse agenda and funding mechanisms; World Bank’s policy options integrated into loans;UNICEF; WHO; OSI profiled, recently less influential; local NGO’s committed, but not successful enough in agreeing on common agenda)
  • Integrating work on legislation and changing social practices
  • Bridging the gap between requirement to demonstrate extreme “incapacity” when seeking social rights, benefits and service provision and the move towards “independent” living which hightlights “capacity” (Meekosha&Dowse 1997 in van Houten, 2004)
  • Diging for relevant quantitative data and making qualitative data matter
  • Resistance to change
consider
Consider ...
  • The right to be different while enjoying full membership of a democratic and participatory community (Stevenson in van Houten)
  • Different effect of disability on women and men
  • The importance of support for innovative, bottom up practices based on user invlovement
  • Creating environment in which there are support mechanisms linking grassroots innovation (sometimes radical in the eyes of existing service provision) and movements with funding and responsive policy institutions
  • Legal framework is a condition within which transformation of practices occurs – it can be an engine for social inclusion policies
  • Rights based approach crucial insofar as it seen more of a carrot than a stick