The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) affirms the rights of all people to live in their communities. Yet between 2007 and 2013, EU member states invested millions of euros of EU structural funds into institutions that confine and segregate people living with disabilities.
Now, although the 2014–2020 round of structural funds requires member states to introduce domestic deinstitutionalization measues, the danger remains that EU investments in institutions will continue. The European Commission has a responsibility to ensure the rights of Europeans with disabilities and the proper direction of EU investments.
Community, Not Confinement examines EU law and policy governing the use of structural funds, and EU and state responsibilities to human rights obligations under international and EU law.
This report also recommends several steps the commission should take, including providing clear guidance to member states that projects selected for the use of structural funds must comply with the CRPD; verifying that such programming aligns with the CRPD and supports independent living; and funding civil society to monitor member states’ investments and inform the commission of findings.