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Position paper on EU Support for Deinstitutionalisation of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Moldova

Keystone Human Services International Regional Office for Eastern and Central Europe jointly with EASPD, Inclusion-Europe, Validity, Alianța Organizațiilor pentru Persoane cu Dizabilități din Republica Moldova (AOPD) and Institutul Pentru Drepturile Omului (IDOM) have developed a position paper highlighting the need for EU Support for Deinstitutionalisation of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Moldova.

People with disabilities have the right to live in the community receiving adequate support according to their needs. Yet, millions of people with disabilities continue to live in institutional settings. This reality has attracted the attention of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic as the virus disproportionately affected those living in institutions and intensified human rights abuses. With the ratification of the UNCRPD by the Republic of Moldova in 2010, the country has committed to ending the practice of institutional care with the adoption of significant legislation to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

Progress, however, is slow: over the last 12 years, only 450 persons with disabilities were able to leave these institutions and around 2000 persons with disabilities still do not have access to their basic right of living in a community. The lack of momentum is a result of the limited availability of alternative services, limited financial resources for the development of community-based services as well as the poor distribution of responsibilities amongst governments regarding the development and provision of social care and support services. 

The European Union plays a significant role in ensuring that EU Neighborhood countries have access to the necessary support to end the practice of institutionalization of people with disabilities. As a result, several recommendations are highlighted towards the EU, such as:

  • Inclusion of the UNCRPD priorities in Partnership Priorities, Association Agendas and country reports.
  • Encourage the implementation and promotion of the ESPR and UNCRPD in all non-EU countries that concluded Stabilisation and Association Agreements.
  • Using the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) funding for 2021-2027 as an opportunity to mainstream more effectively the deinstitutionalisation and social inclusion of persons with disabilities in Moldova.
  • Further involvement of civil society organisations and persons with disabilities in the implementation and monitoring of ENI funding, which is managed directly by government institutions.

To read the full position paper, click here.