Do safeguards exist to ensure that, when persons with disabilities in institutions have the choice as to whether to stay or to leave, they stay only under their own volition?
Safeguards should exist to ensure that when freedom of choice exists, a person with disabilities enjoys that freedom on an equal basis with others. For example, a person with disabilities in an institution may need to be told of his or her freedom of choice as to whether to remain in that institution or not. The safeguards would ensure that the person with disabilities understands that the choice actually exists. And that the question is asked regularly.
Relates to Convention Article:
- No.19, Living independently and being included in the community
Article 19 prescribes that “States Parties…shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that… Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement.”
In practice, the largest impediment in many countries to free selection of place of residence and living arrangements is that persons with disabilities live more or less compulsorily in facilities (“institutions”, “homes” etc.) and no true freedom of choice exists for persons with disabilities. The safeguards mentioned in the question could take the form, for example, of regularly informing persons with disabilities that they have the freedom to choose whether or not to remain at a facility.
With regards to safeguards to ensure the right to choice whether stay or leave the gap between the most developed countries and the less developed ones is clearly visible.