The European Committee of Social Rights has condemned Belgium for failing to provide enough accommodation facilities for people with disabilities, including people with autism, who are in need of a high-level of support.
The decision of the Committee is the result of a collective complaint made by a coalition of around 20 disability organisations and parents associations, including Autism-Europe member, the Association de Parents pour l’Epanouissement des Personnes avec Autisme. The decision was made on the grounds of the European Social Charter; the Council of Europe treaty which guarantees social and economic human rights.
Currently in Belgium there is a lack of support for people with disabilities, including a shortage of places in residential care homes and day care centres, as well as long waiting lists for personal assistance. Despite the fact that the Committee’s decision is not legally binding, Belgium will have to make a plan to resolve the waiting lists issue and ensure the rights enshrined in the Charter are respected. The progress made by the Belgian government will be followed up by the Committee.