Free to decide – How much does government involvement matter? Mihai’s story

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;

Art. 19 – Living independently and being included in the community, UNCRPD

Good news comes quickly when the authorities work promptly with persons seeking support. Today it’s about a young man with an intellectual disability who has been able to exercise his right to choose where and with whom he wants to live. When we talk about such cases, the time horizon is often long. However, his story is different, and one of the reasons for this is the efficiency with which DGASPC Neamt* acted.

In June, UnLoc requested legal support from the CLR to expedite the community integration of a young man with intellectual disabilities who is a resident of a social care home. Mihai had already been asking for help for several months to obtain a transfer to minimum sheltered housing coordinated by UnLoc.

Shortly, we got in touch with Mihai. We managed to draft a notification to the County Directorate of Social Work and Child Protection Neamt (DGASPC), requesting his transfer, taking into account that all persons with disabilities have the right to live in the community, according to Law 7/2023, on supporting the process of deinstitutionalization of adults with disabilities. We have attached the request written by Mihai and all the reports previously prepared.

After 24 hours, DGASPC Neamt returned to the CLR with a positive response on the previously written request. We were informed that the procedure for contracting social services in the minimum sheltered housing chosen by Mihai had been started.


  • We appreciate the promptness in resolving the application and are pleased that the Deinstitutionalization Law 7/2023 is beginning to take effect in the interests of persons with disabilities.
  • We encourage all stakeholders in the deinstitutionalization process to read and implement the new deinstitutionalization provisions.
  • The rights of persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities who are institutionalised or at risk of institutionalisation are often put “on hold”. Mihai’s case gives us courage and shows us that things can be done under the right circumstances.

We appeal to all authorities: rights must be respected, not negotiated. If we all acted swiftly, in accordance with the wishes and will of persons with disabilities, the destinies of tens of thousands of people could change.

*We also recall the initial rejection of UnLoc’s application

*for the protection of the young man, we have chosen to use a fictitious name