- January 8, 2023

In September 2022, at the closing of its 27th session, the CRPD Committee announced the adoption of the Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization, including in emergencies (DI Guidelines), designed to complement General Comment No. 5 on Article 19 (Living independently and being included in the community) and the Guidelines on Article 14 (Liberty and security of person). The Guidelines are the result of a participatory two year long process triggered by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities in institutions.

With the support of Disability Rights Fund (DRF), the International Disability Alliance has developed a video called An inclusive community for all: a guide towards de-institutionalization of persons with disabilities. This video’s purpose is to raise the visibility of the Guidelines and invites stakeholders to consult them and initiate action for their implementation, which is, in essence, to implement several rights of persons with disabilities enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

See full video about the DI Guidelines.

A few insights to understand the purpose of the Guidelines

The DI Guidelines call on State Parties to “abolish all forms of institutionalization, end new placements in institutions and refrain from investing in institutions” (para. 8) and clarify that “[t]here is no justification to perpetuate institutionalization” (para. 9). No excuse is satisfactory: neither lack of support and services in the community, nor poverty or stigma on persons with disabilities. Building on the impact on persons with disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Committee clarified that “[t]he exercise of the rights under article 19 of the Convention cannot be suspended in situations of emergency, including in public health emergencies” (para. 8). See the guidelines for more information.

IDA welcomes the adoption of these guidelines and continues to call on States and all relevant stakeholders to initiate and/or resume dialogue and constructive collaboration to move forward on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community. The vision enshrined in the CRPD, the inclusive communities we want and need.     

IDA is thankful for the time and efforts of the interviewees in the video who kindly agreed to participate and share their views and insights, in particular CRPD Committee members, Amalia Gamio, Robert Martin and Jonas Ruskus, as well as the collaboration of partners organizations, of the work of the staff, external consultants and volunteers who contributed to this project, and the support of the Disability Rights Fund, without which this material would not have been developed.