Deinstitutionalization in Croatia

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The Croatian government is undertaking a five-year plan to move people with intellectual and physical disabilities from confinement in two long-stay institutions, to supported housing within their communities.

This paper examines a 17-year investment by the Mental Health Initiative of the Open Society Public Health Program to make these reforms possible. It reviews the development of civil society engagement, past organizational failures, changes in international law and political pressure, the roots of government partnership, and future challenges and opportunities.