Voting without legal capacity
- Association for Self Advocacy
- Country of Implementation
- Central and Eastern Europe
- First published
“By the end of 2012 the combined efforts of the Association for Self-Advocacy, the organization GONG, and Platform 112 resulted in a change in the Voters Register Act making it possible for more than 16,000 Croatian citizens who are fully deprived of their legal capacity to realize their active voting right.” Mr. Damjan JANJUŠEVIĆ, Association for Self Advocacy
According to data from the national Disability Ombudsman, there are more than 19,000 persons deprived of legal capacity in Croatia, of whom some 16,000 are completely deprived of their legal capacity. Other targeted problems that have impeded the active participation of persons with intellectual disabilities in political and public life are the lack of accessible, easy-to-read information on election procedures and candidates’ programs, and public prejudice that views people with intellectual disability as incapable of participation in democratic processes.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The main objectives realized by the project were making changes to the Voters Register Act, which now provides persons with intellectual disabilities with the right to vote, and raising public awareness. The project brought together self-advocates and a variety of civil society organizations to raise public awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities among the general population and to provide workshops on democratic and voting procedures for self-advocates in local communities.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The project provides an innovative and successful example of inclusive practice in advocating for legislature changes and the public promotion of the right to vote for persons with intellectual disabilities. As such, the project methodologies, expertise, and experince gained – and the principle of inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities in carrying out the advocacy activities – is fully transferable and applicable to any other social or societal contexts. The project of course incurred implementation costs, but it imposed no additional costs for the state or any other institution or organization.