Welcome to e-include, the e-journal of Inclusion Europe.
The Committee of Ministers makes the decisions at the Council of Europe.
The Committee has published a recommendation on the deinstitutionalization of disabled children.
If disabled children cannot live with their family they should not be put into institutions.
The Committee of Ministers has released a recommendation to all Member States on deinstitutionalization and community living of children with disabilities. These recommendations follow principles and laws enshrined in legal instruments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms or the revised European Social Charter.
The Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)2 stresses that disabled children have the same right to family life, education, health and social care as non-disabled children. Therefore, all disabled children should live with their family and the state should be committed to support families with their responsibility to raise their disabled children.
According to provision 12 of the recommendations, alternative care should only be taken into consideration in the case of exceptional circumstances such as abuse or neglect of the child. Alternative care settings should be small, homely settings, similar to a family environment. The number of institutions should be rapidly reduced.
Deinstitutionalization implicates a long transitional process. The recommendations suggest that authorities and stakeholders should deploy four main strategies throughout this process:
- The prevention of institutionalization.
- The prevention of any prolongation of an initially foreseen short-term stay in an institution.
- The deinstitutionalization of those who are currently in institutions.
- The creation of community-based services.
This transition from institutionalization to community-based services also implies removing barriers and confronting challenges. Regular reviews of the process are essential to guarantee its progress.
“Mainstreaming of sector responsibility should be viewed as the norm and not the exception”. The recommendation demands mainstream institutions such as day care centers, schools and recreational services to accept and integrate disabled children and provide them with assistance to meet their complex needs.
Apart from education, mainstreaming should also be practiced in health care facilities and social services. This entails close cooperation of professionals, practitioners and researchers as well as training of teachers. Further, “children with disabilities should have a say in the way that they are treated” and when growing up they should have the freedom to shape their own future.
To view the complete recommendation, please click here .