Following recent positive developments in Spain and Denmark, The German Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that denying people under full guardianship their right to vote is unconstitutional.
This means that the German government has recognized a law which has stopped 85,000 people with disabilities from voting goes against their human rights and the basic principles of the country.
Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe e.V. (Lebenshilfe) and other orgnisations in Germany started trying to change this law in 2009. Finally, the decision to end this injustice was published on 21 February 2019.
From now on, all people with disabilities in Germany will be able to vote!
For a long time the German government wrongly believed that that people under full guardianship do not have the ability to reflect on the information provided or to understand the choices given.
Lebenshilfe argued that this assumption is outdated. Easy-choice information offered by political parties, associations and the government, helps people under guardianship to understand the decision they are making and the choices available.
Lebenshilfe also reminded the government that by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) they have committed themselves to removing the barriers which restrict people with disabilities excercising their right to vote. This means they agreed to Article 29 of the UNCRPD which states it is their duty to “ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others […] including the right and opportunity […] to vote and be elected[…]”
We are extremely proud of our German member for making voting a reality for people under full guardianship in Germany. You can read their story of how they made this happen here.