Improving the quality of life for people with autism

Autism-Europe

Autism-Europe a.i.s.b.l. is an international association whose main objective is to advance the rights of people with autism and their families and to help them improve their quality of life.

Autism-Europe plays a key role in raising public awareness and influencing European decision-makers on all issues related to the rights of people with autism. 

               

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Rights of people with autism

People with autism have fundamental rights that are enshrined in international, European and national laws.

Although people with autism have the same human value and human rights as everyone else, their needs in education, habilitation and health care are not always fulfilled.

Autism-Europe aims to raise awareness of the various existing legal instruments and advocates for the full recognition of the rights of people with autism at the European and international levels.

In this section you will find information about the existing international instruments, case law and the collective complaint by Autism-Europe to the Council of Europe on the right to education.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Autism-Europe endorses and supports the full implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and was involved in its development.

A social understanding of disability and rights

Autism-Europe promotes a shift in values away from the traditional, “medical” perspective on disability (in which people with disabilities are seen as as objects in need of charity and assistance) towards a rights-based “social” understanding of disability (that considers people with disabilities as active subjects with rights and not passive objects of assistance).

This means that Autism-Europe considers that people with autism don't face barriers and discrimination as a result of their disability, but instead as a result of failures of our society to meet their needs. 

This includes failing to provide people with autism with access to high quality support services and facilities ensuring early, life-long, effective education, vocational training, habilitation and health programmes. This failures prevent them from having access to work, leisure, sport and cultural activities, and ultimately from developing to their full human potential. 

Autism-Europe focuses mainly on the following areas of rights for people with autism:

 

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Autism and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2011)

This leaflet provides an interpretation of the rights of people with autism under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. PDF (1.8 Mb)
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United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2007)

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international treaty that defines the specific rights of people with disabilities (including people with autism). Go to website
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Article: Legal Capacity of People with Autism

While the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities outlines the legal rights of all people with disabilities, what happens when a person with autism in need of high-level of support is not able to exercise these rights because she/he cannot speak, understand or communicate at the level required to discuss rights and legal matters? Lawyer, Evelyne Friedel, explains. PDF (1.85 Mb)
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Charter for Persons with Autism (1996)

Prior to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Autism-Europe developed, and advocated for, a charter of rights for people with autism in Europe. The charter highlights the fundamental rights of people with autism in relation to their specific needs. The European Parliament adopted this Charter as a written declaration in 1996.

PDF (19 Ko)
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Autism-Europe & Core International Human Rights Instruments (2006)

Document that summarises the core international human rights instruments that are key to protecting the rights of people with autism.

PDF (125 Ko)

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