Human Rights: a reality for all persons with disabilities? event report

9 November 2018
  • Disability Rights and European Parliament upcoming elections: How can we increase the access to the political process for persons with disabilities?

  • Disability in the EU and international law: Which rights are stipulated by the international and EU law for persons with disability and to what extent are they being implemented?

  • Knocking down walls to live independently: How can we create and enable inclusive environments for all so as to empower persons with disabilities through independent living?

These have been the main topics and questions of the open-mic event that took place in October 18, 2018, in Brussels, thanks to the initiative of the GUE/NGL MEP’s KUNEVA Kostadinka (EL, SYRIZA) , MATIAS Marisa (PT, Bloco de Esquerda) and BJÖRK Malin (SV, Vänsterpartiet).

The panel discussions on the three key topics and questions of the event were joined by the organizing MEP’s, activists and representatives of the european movement of persons with disability, academics, scientists and representatives of the EU. Among the guest speakers who were invited by Kostadinka Kuneva was Mr. Charalampos Christopoulos, special advisor for issues related to the rights of the persons with disabilities and person in charge for the operation of the newly established Greek organization ”Coordination Mechanism for the Disability Sector”, as well as Mrs. Anna Lawson, law professor and director of Leeds University-wide interdisciplinary “Centre for Disability Studies”.

In addition, the event has hosted speeches by Ms Nadia HADAD, from the “European Disability Forum” and the “European Network on Independent Living” (ENIL), Mr. Adolf RATZKA, member of the advisory board of the “European Network on Independent Living” (ENIL), European Commission and Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) experts on the rights of persons with disability as well as activists and representatives of organizations related to persons with disabilities from Portugal and Sweden. Last but not least, the event was joined by a group of 30 people representing organizations and communities related to persons with disabilities from Greece, who traveled to Brussels after being invited by Mrs. Kostadinka Kuneva. Among them were members of the Hellenic Federation of the Deaf, the Pan-Hellenic Paraplegic Association, the Disability Sector of the SYRIZA party and the Movement of Disabled Artists.

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