World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


France must act to end segregation and inequality

France must act to end segregation and inequality for people with disabilities, UN expert finds

GENEVA / PARIS (17 October 2017) – “To achieve equal citizenship for persons with disabilities, France needs to end segregation and move towards inclusive services and support in the community”, UN disability rights expert Catalina Devandas warned.

“While the country invests significant resources to address inequalities faced by people with disabilities, efforts in this area are highly compartmentalized and segregated,” said the Special Rapporteur in a statement following her official visit to assess the situation in the country.

Ms. Devandas recognized France’s work to include children with disabilities in mainstream schools, but said the system would need a significant transformation to achieve inclusive education for all. Most children in residential institutions did not receive quality education, while others received no education at all, she noted.

The Special Rapporteur expressed serious concern about the high number of French people with disabilities living in residential institutions - at least 300,000 in France itself and another 6,500, including 1,500 children, in Belgium.

“People with disabilities, including those with high support needs, have the right to live in their communities, to choose their place of residence and with whom they live,” Ms. Devandas stressed.

She urged the Government to close all institutions as soon as possible and switch to community-based services, including adequate housing. Moving children out of institutions should be a political priority, she added, and the Government should consider a moratorium on new admissions.

“France is a country with a strong tradition of republican and democratic values, resting on the ideals of ‘freedom, equality and fraternity’. Disability policies in France need to embrace these ideals to guarantee the full inclusion of all people with disabilities in society, endowing them with more opportunities to live the lives they choose to live.

“Full citizenship won’t be a reality until some 750,000 people with disabilities who are under guardianship or tutorship in France, many of whom are deprived of their right to vote, have their legal capacity restored”, she added.

Ms. Devandas also noted that autistic people and those with psychosocial disabilities are systematically hospitalized or receive psychiatric treatment without consent. She reminded the government that deprivation of legal capacity and any type of involuntary treatment are contrary to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“France needs to carefully revise and transform its system to truly provide inclusive responses and solutions for all people with disabilities, manage and allocate resources more efficiently, and provide specialized services and support in the community on an equal basis with others,” Ms. Devandas said, urging the government to include people with disabilities in all decision-making processes.

During her 10-day visit, the Special Rapporteur visited Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Avignon, where she met senior Government officials, representatives of independent institutions, people with disabilities, organizations, and service providers. She also visited several psychiatric facilities, segregated institutions for people with disabilities, a school with inclusive practices, and an inclusive housing project.

The UN Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in March 2019 on the main findings of her visit.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>