A person with a mental illness wants to live in supervised accommodation but they are forced to remain in an institution for persons with disabilities; a person in a wheelchair has no access to their local town hall because there aren’t any access ramps; an autistic pupil is refused a place in their local school even though reasonable accommodations exist; a visually impaired person isn’t given an office job even though there is adapted computer equipment; etc.
A person with a disability is a person with rights, just like any other person. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states all these rights.
Even though persons with disabilities represent approximately 15% of the world’s population, they are still faced with many obstacles which prevent them from participating actively and on an equal footing in political, economic, social and cultural life. Disability must be envisaged on the basis of these obstacles, and not simply as a deficiency associated with the person.
What does Unia do?
Unia promotes a social view of disability rather than a medical one. It supports the idea of an inclusive society and opposes discrimination based on:
- anti-discrimination legislation;
- the UN Convention, as an independent mechanism responsible for the promotion, protection and monitoring of its application in Belgium.
As such, Unia:
- advises and supports people who feel discriminated or whose rights, guaranteed by the UN Convention, aren’t respected;
- informs persons with disabilities, and all the stakeholders in society concerned, of the provisions in anti-discrimination legislation (including the notion of reasonable accommodations) and the UN Convention;
- ensures laws and policies comply with the UN Convention and draws up reports and recommendations;
- consults persons with disabilities and their representative associations, especially through its Steering Committee.
Victim or witness
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No major progress in the lives of persons with disabilities
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Recent publications Disability
Diversity Barometer Education (2018)
Unia commissioned a study to be carried out about equal opportunities in the schools in the three Communities in Belgium. The Diversity Barometer Education is the final part of a triptych. The first two parts were about Employment (2012) and Housing (2014).
Evaluation of federal anti-discrimination legislation (2017)
Article 52 of the Anti-Discrimination Law states that the application and effectiveness of the anti-discrimination laws must be assessed by the Legislative Chambers. Unia has prepared an assessment report on the Anti-Discrimination Law and the Anti-Racism Law based on its own practical experience, national jurisprudence and its general expertise in the fight against discrimination.
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