As every year, the European Commission celebrated the Day of Persons with Disabilities by organising a big conference in Brussels together with the European Disability Forum on 29-30 November. Since 2016, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), taking stock of the implementation of the CRPD lay at the heart of the event. The CRPD is the landmark international human rights treaty, protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and their families in all aspects of life. Therefore, the presentations and interactive discussions focused on the progress that have been made in the areas of independent living, social protection, employment, accessibility, or the protection of the rights of women with disabilities. 27 Member States and the EU itself have ratified the CRPD, therefore the EU has a clear mandate to implement and mainstream the provisions of the Convention in EU laws and policies.
COFACE Families Europe was pleased to participate in this important event and represent the family dimensions of the implementation process of the Convention. In our intervention, we highlighted the need to introduce in the proposed European Pillar of Social Rights measures that help the most deprived groups in society, including persons with disabilities, family carers, or homeless people to be included in the labour market and get out of poverty. Accessible, high-quality community-based social services are essential to avoid institutionalisation of children and adults with disabilities, and to ensure that they can live close to their families.
Furthermore, we would like to see the future EU Reconciliation (or “WorkLife”) package include measures that support family carers, and provide them with adequate social rights, benefits and time arrangements.