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Community not confinement

ZAJA, Tomislav
KLEIN, Judith
March 2013

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This short video by film-maker Tomislav Zaja chronicles the stories of persons with disabilities in Croatia and Romania and their testimonies about institutional care and independent living in the community. The supporting article by Judith Klein, Director of the Mental Health Initiative at the Open Society Foundations, gives further background to the fight for the right to independent living in the community for and by persons with disabilities, and refers to a petition submitted to the European Union by  the  Open Society Mental Health Initiative. This video will be useful to anyone working particularly on social inclusion issues in eastern Europe

The European Union and the right to community living

PARKER, Camilla
May 2012

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“This report was written on behalf of the Open Society Mental Health Initiative (MHI) to consider the role of European Union (EU) funds, known as “Structural Funds,” in promoting the right of people with disabilities to live and participate in the community as equal citizens. It focuses on whether the use of Structural Funds by some EU Member States in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to build new, or renovate existing, long-stay institutions for people with disabilities, rather than develop alternative services that promote community living, is contrary to EU law.” A comprehensive report that will be of use to disabled people’s organisations and NGOs, particularly those working on social inclusion issues in eastern Europe

Parent’s participation in the social inclusion of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

February 2012

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"This study examines the attitudes and actions of parents of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia. Part of the former Yugoslavia, these two Southeastern European countries have undergone major economic and socio-political changes since the early 90s. Historically disabled children with disabilities suffered high levels of social and educational exclusion in these countries whereas now a public discussion of inclusion and children’s rights prevails"

A community for all : checklist

PARKER, Camilla
December 2011

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This checklist outlines out ten key areas of work that governments will need to take if they are to comply with their obligations under Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which provides unequivocally that people with disabilities have the right to live independently and be included in the community. The checklist includes an overview of the CRPD and its relevance to efforts to replace a system that institutionalizes people with disabilities with appropriate community-based services that promote social inclusion

Inclusive democracies require voting rights for people with disabilities

NEIER, Aryeh
November 2011

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This blog post presents the story of a woman with Down Syndrome who initially was prevented from voting in Peruvian elections because of her intellectual disability but successfully won her right to vote. The article concludes by encouraging inclusive policies that support the participation of people with disabilities in political life
Note: This post is part of a blog series that reflects on The Open Society Foundations work to advance the rights of persons with disabilities around the world

A community for all : implementing article 19|A guide for monitoring progress on the implementation of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

PARKER, Camilla

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"This Guide aims to show how the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) can be used to promote the right of people with disabilities to live and participate in the community as equal citizens. Its primary focus is Article 19 of the CRPD (Living independently and being included in the community), which provides that people with disabilities have the right to live in the community, with the same choices as others"

Benchmarking antiretroviral prices in countries of the former Soviet Union

WANING, Brenda
et al
June 2008

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This study benchmarks ARV prices of former Soviet Union (FSU) countries against each other and against global and European region ARV prices. The study reveals that extreme price variation exists within and across FSU countries for identical ARVs, which suggests that some countries may be able to obtain ARVs at lower prices and therefore purchase additional ARVs to treat more people

Accountability and the right to the highest attainable standard of health

POTTS, Helen

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This is an introduction to accountability in the context of the right to the highest attainable standard of health - the process that provides individuals and communities with the opportunity to understand how governments and others fulfill their right to health obligations. The principle aim is to increase the understanding of government health policy makers and to encourage them to incorporate the right to health in the development and implementation of health plans

Women, harm reduction, and HIV

September 2007

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This report looks at factors that reduce women drug users’ access to health care including punitive policies, discrimination by police and health care providers, the intense social stigma attached to drug use by women, a preponderance of harm reduction and drug treatment programmes directed primarily toward men, an absence of sexual and reproductive health services for drug users, and poor access to effective outpatient drug treatment. Pregnant drug users are particularly vulnerable. In too many instances, they receive little or no accurate information about drug use during pregnancy or prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In some countries pregnant drug users are rejected by health care providers, threatened with criminal penalties or loss of parental rights, or coerced into having an abortion or abandoning their newborns to the state. Poor access to medication-assisted treatment jeopardises the pregnancies of opiate-dependent drug users. It includes recommendations for consideration when designing services for women drug users and also examines issues around policies to protect women's health


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The purpose of this website is to monitor the development of human rights, rule of law standards, and policies in EU countries and those applying for membership. The work here includes: encouraging regular and comprehensive independent monitoring; contributing to improving standards and policies; and promoting active engagement of civil society. This work would be useful for anyone with an interest in human rights and policy development across Europe


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