In the run-up to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), the head of the 47-nation Council of Europe (CoE) has called on European governments to draw on the newly-adopted Disability Strategy (2017-2023) to make human rights a reality for all. The strategy will be launched at a conference in Cyprus on 27 and 28 March 2017.
The overall goal of the CoE Strategy is to achieve equality, dignity and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. This requires ensuring independence, freedom of choice, and full and effective participation in all areas of life and society, including living in the community.
Secretary General Jagland said: “Much progress has been made in the past 10 years, but we have not yet bridged the gap between legal standards and the daily reality. We need to shift the focus from disability to ability. Policy makers have to develop legislation, policy and practice which ensure independence, freedom of choice and full and effective participation in all areas of life for persons with disabilities. Our new strategy shows the way.”