On January 15the and 16th 2020 in Brussels were organized two important events with focus on deinstitutionalization.

During last decade number of persons who live in institutions decreased significantly but there are still around 1 million people who live in institutions.

Both mentioned events put stressed that living in the community is human right of every human being.

On January 15th group gathered within the Opening doors campaign organized final event of the campaign. Paneuropean campaign during 7 years gathered 16 European countries and 5 international organizations (Eurochild, Hope&homes for children, SOS children villages, FICE Europe and IFCO) with one common goal – ending institutional care and strengthening family and community-based care. During whole day event we celebrated archived progress but also put into perspective huge work that needs to be done in the next period via some other projects, campaigns…

More about the campaign and its results you can find out in its final report.

On January 16th, European Expert Group (EEG) celebrated 10 years of work with conference Towards inclusion. Among 23 speakers, especially emotional and eyes opening were testimonials of people who lived their life in institutions and later dedicated their life to make a change. Participants of the event had opportunity to hear which challenges faced some of presenters in institutions for persons with disabilities, children without adequate parental care and mental health illness and how they make their future despite all obstacles that their country put in front of them.

Elisabetta Moldovan, co-president of the Ceva de Spus, an NGO of self-advocates having the goal to raise awareness of difficulties that of person with disabilities face every day. Especially interesting is her novel “Becoming Eli”, the first graphic novel in Romania that dears to address issues like – abandonment, isolation, abuse and its consequences.

http/www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgMVpRN7DaU

Anita Huber is public speaker on mental health. She states, “There is no gap between people with and without mental illness”. Her story is a story of someone who made it despite all odds and just because she never gave up on herself.

Anita is also policy advisor of The Netherlands institute for Human Rights on topics related to Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Michal Dord is Romani care leaver and self-advocate associated with Chechia’s only advocacy group called “Second After”. In 2015 he became the first and only member of Check Governmental Committee for the Rights of the Child with care experience.