Your Voice Made a Difference: say no to institutions

Congratulations and thank you to all of you who helped make the voices of people with intellectual disabilities and their families heard at the recent CRPD Committee session.

We are pleased to report that the 18th Session of the CRPD Committee included the adoption of a strong General Comment 5 on the right to live and be included in the community and a Day of General Discussion on draft General Comment 6 on equality and non-discrimination.

The adoption of General Comment 5 on Article 19, the right to live and be included in the community represents a culmination of years of Inclusion International efforts. The General Comment captures and reflects the vision of living and being included in the community that have been promoting since the negotiations of the CRPD. Collectively we helped influence the General Comment to be progressive and definitive. We thank all of our members and partners who contributed to making this happen! From submissions to the Committee, participating in the Day of General Discussion in 2016, hosting multiple side events in Geneva and New York, through our petition, webinars and ongoing engagement with the Committee, our efforts were successful.

The General Comment clearly calls for the closure of institutions, reinforces that article 19 is about choice, control and support; it reflects the living in the community also means having the right to make decisions, go to an inclusive school and have a job. The General Comment recognizes the role of families and their need for support. Congratulations to the Committee and to our movement for shaping the General Comment.

A special thanks to inclusion Europe for being at the August session on behalf of the global network. They worked diligently to ensure our voices were heard.

Additionally, at the 18th session of the CRPD Committee, the Committee hosted a Day of General Discussion on their forthcoming General Comment on Article 5, equality and non-discrimination. With support from our member in Switzerland, Insieme, we were successful in highlighting what Article 5 means for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The Committee is currently welcoming submissions from stakeholders on draft General Comment 6. Submissions are due on November 15, 2017. We will be circulating additional information specific to our submission soon.