UPDATE: Following the intervention of the Centre for Legal Resources this morning, the Economic and Social Council – ESC Romania has decided to postpone its opinion on the Government Decision amending the Annex to Government Decision no. 798/2016 on the approval of the programme of national interest in the field of protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities “Establishment of social services such as day centres, respite centres/crisis centres and sheltered housing for the deinstitutionalisation of persons with disabilities in old institutions and for the prevention of institutionalisation of persons with disabilities in the community” for the next meeting, also asking for clarification from the ANPD on how the authority conceives and understands sheltered housing as it can be seen differently, how many places, where they are placed, what they consist of, how they will relate to day centres.
Unfortunately, the Centre for Legal Resources was not granted the request to take part in the ESC meeting on this topic, despite the long-standing interest and explicit request submitted. We are following the subject, awaiting the response of the ANPD, the reaction of the ESC to it and hoping that we will be able to participate in the next meeting of the ESC which will decide whether to give a favourable opinion to the draft legislation.
For the attention of the President of the Economic and Social Council
To Mr. Bogdan Simion
Referrer: Draft Government Decision for amending the Annex to Government Decision No 798/2016 on the approval of the programme of national interest in the field of protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities “Establishment of social services such as day centres, respite centres/crisis centres and sheltered housing for the deinstitutionalisation of persons with disabilities in old-type institutions and for the prevention of institutionalisation of persons with disabilities in the community” (deadline for approval: 19.05.2022, in accordance with Art. 7 para. (1) of Law no. 248/2013, republished, as amended) – Initiator: Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity.
Esteemed Mr. President,
The Centre for Legal Resources has noted with concern the presence on the agenda of the draft GD to approve the continuation of investments in sheltered housing.
Taking into account that the provisions of this draft contradict the opinion submitted in writing by representatives of the European Commission and those of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with a potential negative impact on both the 16,000 people with disabilities in institutions and those in the community, we ask you to allow the intervention of the CLR at the CES meeting today, 10 May 2022.
The main arguments in support of our intervention are as follows:
- MIPE’s response to the European Commission’s letter of November 2021: RESPONSE
- The national analysis of the CLR showed that all projects for the construction of sheltered housing are blocked for reasons of accessibility, segregation, isolation, lack of interest of local actors and insufficient financial resources. The analysis also showed that Romania is holding up almost €40 million to deinstitutionalise 600 people with disabilities. Applying the current cost standard, we demonstrated that the Romanian state would have deinstitutionalised not 600, but between 3,000 and 6,000 people with disabilities with the same money. Not a single disabled person has been deinstitutionalised in 5 years from the 40 million Euro and from the amounts allocated by the NIP: HERE
- The government has not demonstrated the current status of the construction started by the NIP several years ago, nor its finality. People with institutionalised disabilities can no longer wait for the Romanian authorities to invest millions of euros in sheltered housing which are small-scale forms of institutionalisation – 16-20 people/household, lacking the possibility of leading a dignified life in the community, segregated in rural environments that are difficult to access and lacking access to professionals and family.
- If the ESC approves this HG in its proposed form – it sets a dangerous precedent and Romania risks international sanctions from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Commission.
- Excerpt from the MIPE response:
“MIPE: Housing solutions for people with disabilities or children in the process of deinstitutionalisation in sheltered housing were chosen for funding following both ANDPDCA and civil society requests, but the measure was no longer included in the updated version of POIDS, following the negative opinion from the European Commission (September 2021).”
“MIPE: In the case of the closure of placement centres FONPC’s views contradicted those of ANDPDCA at this stage of the programming, although in a previous address (July 2020) ANDPDCA requested MIPE’s support for the closure of some centres in the period 2021-2027, with the current measures in POCU and POR not being sufficient. MIPE tried to moderate the divergence, in order to be able to take a funding decision through POIDS, but the solution came from a third source, more exactly the European Commission, which informed us by correspondence of 27 September 2021 that it does not agree with the process of deinstitutionalisation through sheltered housing (neither 12-person nor 6-person). Consequently, the FONPC proposal was not taken up in the revised version of POIDS.”
We count on your support that we will have the opportunity to make our point in today’s meeting.
Center for Legal Resources
Tel. 0729 881 159