The study Fundamental Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities and People with Mental Health Problems is the first research in this field, carried out under contract with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The outcomes should provide evidence of what countries still need to do to make sure that people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities can live freely and safely in the community.
Being fully aware of the importance of language and self-definition and that there will not be terms acceptable for everybody, in the context of this particular project, we are using the terms people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities, as chosen by the FRA. Nevertheless, during the course of this study we hope to suggest more appropriate and suitable terms and are looking very much forward to your input on this issue.
The study is focusing on four areas:
1. Community living (including the right to decide where to live, to have access to all the services available to general population; involvement in decision making regarding design and provision of support as well as services imposed on people and forced treatment in the community)
2. Fundamental rights in institutions (circumstances of detention; coercive treatment and the right to challenge and review it; autonomy, privacy and relationships; physical conditions of institutional living and general health care)
3. Legal capacity and
4. Access to justice (routes and remedies in both institutions and community; self-advocacy, complaint and support mechanisms).
The study has two parts, the drafting of so called desk study reports on the situation in the 27 EU Member States and field study (research into the lived experience of these two groups as well as into their perspectives on their fundamental rights) in 9 selected countries: Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Sweden and the UK.
The study is jointly conducted by the Human European Consultancy (Utrecht, the Netherlands), Centre for Disability Studies at Leeds University (UK), the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland, Galway and the Mental Disability Advocacy Center (Budapest, Hungary).
The study is guided by an Advisory board, coordinated by a Research Team and carried out by country researchers in the 27 EU Member States.
The project design has been developed in collaboration with the leading EU organisations of people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities and their advice and input throughout our work will be decisive for the quality and accountability of our reports. Our investigation focuses separately on the two groups and we are taking an emancipatory research approach.
The following organisations (in alphabetical order) are represented on our Advisory Board:
- European Coalition for Community Living, represented by John Evans
- European Disability Forum, represented by Carlotta Besozzi
- European Network of (ex) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, represented by Mary Nettle
- European Platform of Self Advocates, represented by Senada Halilcevic
- Inclusion Europe, represented by Geert Freyhoff
The Research Team consists of six people, responsible for the methodology, researchers' training and producing final reports. People who have experienced psychiatric treatment and people who describe themselves as having learning difficulties are working collaboratively in our research team and Advisory Board.
The European Coalition for Community Living is a member of the Advisory Board, represented by John Evans.
For further information, please visit the website of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.