Fundamental Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and Persons with Mental Health Problems

This project aims to gather information about the extent to which, in practice, the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and people with mental health problems are realised in four situations or areas of life ...

  • independent living in the community
  • entry into institutions and conditions of life within them
  • legal capacity and freedom to make one’s own decisions
  • and access to justice.

It will explore any ‘implementation gap’ between the letter of the law (within the framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and the position on the ground. It also aims to identify examples of good practice and to make recommendations as to how the position might be improved.

The project has three main phases.

The first consists of the gathering of information (in the form of reports based on desk research) about the situation in all EU countries and a separate report about developments at the international and European levels.

The second consists of empirical research in eight of those countries. This will consist of interviews, focus groups and photovoice observation. The methodology will be emancipatory in the sense that people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems will be encouraged to shape the conclusions and analysis of the data.

The third phase will consist of the writing of a final report, a draft of which will be explored with research participants and other stakeholders in a two day conference in Vienna.

It should be stressed that, at all stages, the research process will be informed by input from the leading EU NGOs working on the issues of concern to the project.

Project Publications

FRA will publish the final report. It also plans to publish an account of our methodology as a guide for other researchers interested in working in similar fields.

The project is the result of a partnership between:

On the Advisory Board, there is:

  • Mark Priestley (University of Leeds)
  • Gerard Quinn (National University of Ireland, Galway)
  • Lisa Waddington (University of Maastricht)
  • John Evans (European Coalition for Community Living)
  • Carlotta Besozzi (European Disability Forum)
  • Mary Nettle (European Network of (ex) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry)
  • Senada Halilcevic (European Platform of Self-Advocates)
  • Geert Freyhoff (Inclusion Europe)
  • Michael Bach (Canadian Association for Community Living)