Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on Human Rights

Living to the fullest: For decades, disabled people have been put into institutions, although it has been proven that institutionalisation could ultimately lead to worsened mental health. What can the EU do to decrease the institutionalisation of patients with mental disabilities?

Submitted by: Emilia Boer (NL), Milla Brouwer (NL), Elena Amy Corazza (IT), Rosa Klinkspoor (NL), Sophia Ariane Manni (IT), Nadine Noothoven van Goor (NL) and Nadia Schnider (Chairperson, CH)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Reaffirming that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities names the respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy and the importance of social inclusion as its fundamental principles, 
  2. Bearing in mind that as of 2007, 1.2 million persons with mental disabilities in the EU were living in institutionalised care, 
  3. Noting with deep concern the negative effects of institutionalisation on residents, such as neglect and social isolation,
  4. Recognising that the European Commission names deinstitutionalisation and the transition to community-based care as a prime objective for the protection of persons with mental disabilities,
  5. Further noting that unpaid care work of disabled family members is predominantly carried out by women,
  6. Emphasising that discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights,
  7. Deeply concerned the loss of legal capacity excludes persons with mental disabilities from enacting their rights and freedoms, including political participation and the right to self-determination;
  1. Urges Member States to enable more flexible care and support options for persons with mental disabilities and their families through funding from the European Social Fund Plus, such as:
    1. financially supporting using the service of home health nurses,
    2. funding daycare options,
    3. subsidising the use of support animals, 
    4. establishing a family psychologist hotline;
  2. Encourages Member States to combat the social exclusion of former and present residents of institutions by organising workshops and events for families and local communities in corporation with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Mental Health Europe (MHE) or Inclusion Europe;
  3. Advises Member States to make institutionalised care more personalised by adding options such as internships, recreational activities or private time for residents; 
  4. Asks Member States to improve access to psychological support for people with mental disabilities by collaborating with NGOs, such as MHE;
  5. Suggests Member States to grant political rights to persons with mental disabilities, following the example of countries such as Austria or the Netherlands;
  6. Calls upon the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL) to facilitate the political participation of persons with mental disabilities by creating comprehensive political education;
  7. Designates the European Psychiatrist Association (EPA) to assist Member States in creating a more nuanced approach towards the legal capacity and political rights by creating a differentiated scale;
  8. Further suggests Member States to promote the employment and economic integration of persons with mental disabilities through fiscal incentives;
  9. Further encourages Member States to create more inclusive schools by:
    1. offering a supplementary training for teachers on integrating disabled students, 
    2. allowing flexible schedules and part time studies for persons with mental disabilities;
  10. Further calls upon the DG EMPL to combat stigmas through a media campaign featuring persons with mental disabilities;
  11. Invites the European Expert Group (EEG) on the transition from institutional to community-based care to help combat abusive guardianship relations by advising Member States in the introduction of an office for intermediation between the guardian’s and the ward’s will; 
  12. Further invites the EPA to create a common guideline on the standards of psychiatric expert witnesses in legal proceedings concerning the guardianship of persons with mental disabilities.