Press release: Inclusion International Releases Global Report on the Right to Decide

Press release
For immediate release

Inclusion International Releases Global Report on the Right to Decide United Nations Headquarters – June 12th 2014 Today, at the seventh session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Inclusion International (II) released Independent But Not Alone: A Global Report on the Right to Decide. A culmination of a two year international dialogue on Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the report presents the perspective of people with intellectual disabilities and their families on the right to decide.

Over 600 persons with intellectual disabilities, family members, disability advocates, and professionals contributed to the development of the report, as well as more than 80 organizations from more than 40 countries worldwide.

Article 12 asserts that with support all people with intellectual disabilities are able to make decisions and have control in their lives, and reflects a fundamental shift in thinking. Says Klaus Lachwitz, President of II, “People with intellectual disabilities are usually denied the opportunity to make decisions because of preconceived ideas, myths and prejudices about their capacity. People said, ‘we want to be heard and we want to make decisions about how we live our lives’. We heard that having the right to decide is important for securing all other rights.“

The report identifies a number of global questions and challenges in implementing Article 12 as well as recommendations for governments, family based organizations, families, and persons with intellectual disabilities in advancing the right to decide. “Building on our earlier global reports – on ending poverty, inclusive education, and the right to live in the community – the findings in this report demonstrate that these other widely shared goals cannot be realized without recognizing, respecting, and supporting the equal right of people with intellectual disabilities to direct their own lives in the context of their families and communities.

“This report is our contribution to advancing the right to decide in the real everyday lives of people with intellectual disabilities,” says Lachwitz. “The messages from this report will shape II’s own agenda for the future.

The report provides a clear vision and roadmap for achieving the right to decide, set out by people with intellectual disabilities and their families. We invite global leaders from government and civil society to work with us in advancing a shared agenda for reform.”

Independent But Not Alone can be viewed online at:

For More Information Contact:
Connie Laurin- Bowie, Executive Director, Inclusion International
Phone: (416) 661-9611 ext.203 Email:

About Inclusion International
Inclusion International is a global federation of family based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. For over 50 years Inclusion International has been committed to the promotion of these human rights; the organization now represents over 200 member federations in 115 countries throughout five regions including the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean, the Americas, and Asia Pacific.