Conference on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Croatia, with regard to the persons with intellectual disabilities
The Conference on Implementation of the Rights of Disabled Persons in Croatia for Mentally Challenged Persons took place in the European Commission Information Centre on 17 June, 2009. It was organized by the Centre for Human Rights, Association for Promotion of Inclusion and UN Development Program (UNDP). The conference was also attended by Yuri Afansiev, permanent representative of UNDP in Croatia, David Hudson, deputy Head of EC Delegation, Tatjana Vučetić, State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, and Senada Halilčević from the Association for self-representation.
The conference started with a 20-minute film on the difficulties encountered by mentally challenged persons, after which followed the organizer’s introductory speech.
Yuri Afanasiev, permanent representative of UNDP in Croatia, spoke first. He said that two facts should be pointed out when we talk about the rights of disabled persons – things are moving in the right direction, but there is a lot left to be done. Croatia has made many steps forward in the area of the rights of disabled persons: the National Strategy of Equalization of Possibilities for Persons with Disabilities is now in place and an ombudsman for disabled persons has been appointed.
Deputy Head of the EC Delegation in Croatia David Hudson said that the European Union is built on the principles of equality and tolerance, common values of respecting of fundamental human rights and principles of non-discrimination. He emphasized the importance of social inclusion of disabled persons and their access to institutions. Decentralization of social services is of exceptional importance because life with disability is an everyday struggle, said Hudson.
Then followed a dialogue on difficulties, rights and life in general of disabled persons and how to improve their social and institutional inclusion.
More information can be found on the pages of UNDP Croatia.