Our President spoke at a high-level meeting of the Commission COVID-19 and European Social services attended by EU the Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, EU Commissioners for Health, for Equality and for Jobs and Social Rights, representatives of older people organisations and representatives of social services.
He presented our work and outlined the situation of persons with disabilities and how the lack of services and discrimination leave persons isolated without basic goods or access to medical treatment, and at a serious risk of dying, underlining the particularly serious situation in residential institutions, were many persons with disabilities got infected and died.
He called for the EU and countries to involve organisations of persons with disabilities, and for Commissioners for Equality and Jobs to be included in the European Commission’s coronavirus response team to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities are not forgotten.
Yannis Vardakastanis, EDF President, stated:
We are witnessing horrific situations: persons with disabilities are dying in institutions and at home, people without food at home, people living in fear. This could be avoided if governments and the EU did what they promised by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: nothing about us without us, involving us early and often.
EU Commissioner Helena Dalli said about the meeting:
The coronavirus has highlighted and even exacerbated inequalities in our society. In this crisis, the EU’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been put to the test and becomes more relevant than ever. For this reason, it is essential to maintain a continued dialogue with representative organisations and ensure that our response leaves no one behind.