Brussels —In its concluding observations o the European Union (EU), the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities demands the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to implement the Convention across Europe in line with the Committee’s recommendations and in close consultation with representative organisations of persons with disabilities, including children. In addition, the Committee insists that the EU take effective action to prohibit disability-based discrimination in access to healthcare for all adults and children with disabilities and review the impact of its healthcare to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access high-quality healthcare services in other EU Member States.
The Committee recommendations resonate with IF’s own findings that people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus continue being denied information about treatments in other EU Member States and are discriminated against financially when travelling across EU borders in search of optimal healthcare.
The Convention, indivisible part of the EU legal order since early 2011, obliges the Union to take all possible measures to ensure the right of people with disabilities to health, personal mobility and participation, among others. However, despite a number of positive measures taken by the EU, including the adoption of the 2010-2020 European Disability Strategy, many Europeans with disabilities continue facing discrimination, exclusion and inequalities in access to their basic human rights, including the right to health.
In this vein, IF welcomes the UN recommendations and calls on the EU to take on a more active role in fulfilling its obligations to persons with disabilities.
In 4 years’ time the EU will have a follow-up review. It will then have to explain which steps have been taken to realise the Committee’s recommendations. The next progress report is to be submitted by January 2019.